Last Thursday I had the opportunity to hear Gloria Steinem, author and activist, famous for the Women’s Liberation Movement, speak at a fundraising luncheon for the YWCA. She spoke in part about how empowerment starts with the least powerful. She then gave her ideas about what the world would be like if the YWCA ran it. Imagine: differences would be celebrated rather than being regarded as negatives; hierarchical systems would be replaced with more humane systems; and ultimately we would return to our instinctual nature to help each other rather than to compete with each other.

I wonder what would happen if all process for divorce and family law matters went straight to facilitated, interest-based mediation rather than to the courthouse. Our hierarchal, traditional approach often exploits people, focuses on differences, is a power based, valuing win/lose, control and superiority and pits on family member against the other. Mediation allows and encourages people to work together, to show natural empathy for each other and to find common ground and the best alternative for all. What would happen if people getting divorced were guided to their natural instinct to have empathy and work for the benefit of all rather than being led to battle.

Let me guess:

  • Parents and children would feel better and smile sooner
  • Agreements would be more durable
  • The process for divorce would be less painful and more empowering

That’s what would happen!

I am sure the list could go on and on. What do you think? We would like to know.

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