A Right, A Risk, A Reward

This week on Harry’s Law, Harriet’s “security” director tipped her in the possibility of gang warfare in her neighborhood. His intention was for her to close up shop for awhile, so nobody got hurt. Of course Harriet had another idea. Force the gangs to meet her that evening so she could mediate the issue and resolve the issue responsibly. All in true Harriet style.

This collective bargaining method – bringing all parties together for a facilitated conversation around the issues of conflict – is a right of law-abiding citizens, yet it is a right many avoid. With it comes the possibility of escalated emotions that many of us are afraid to navigate.

This risk – navigating through heightened emotions – is one that is common to everyday life. From childhood into and through adulthood we grow in our practice of handling our emotions for the sake of being responsible while building relationships with those around us. Sitting down with those who have differences of opinion is an adult practice, that although risky, brings reward.

In Harry’s Law, it brought closure on whether a gang member could date someone from the opposing gang. It brought closure on the value of a car. It even opened the discussion on handling gang members who decide to terminate their membership. Was it easy? No. Are most things worth having easy to come by? No.

Yet the reward for opening ourselves to honest, challenging conversation is actually several things: our personal satisfaction in having managed ourselves in a higher, honorable way; the ability to problem-solve while gaining mutual agreement; and the sense that everyone involved has been given the chance to say what they want to/need to say.

Open communication is a challenge. Yet it is a challenge that adult, responsible, emotional and respectful people take. And it is worth it.

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On February 23rd, 2011, posted in: collective bargaining, communication, Harry's Law by