A Mediator’s Daily Fare

Arguments, anger, frustration.
Conflict, mediation, meditation.
Today it’s all about our cortex, our right brain, your left brain.
Our amygdala, your feminine side, someone’s masculine side.
Maybe even the bright side.
Who is right, who is wrong.
Onwards, backwards, forwards,
Glass half full, too often these days the glass is empty.
Relationships are strained, pressures too great.
The pot boils over and over.
A fire burns into the very soul. Too much gets destroyed. The damage is done.
Things are certainly inflamed as people are enraged and anger reins.
How are you travelling?
What are your goals?
Common sense, like Paradise, lost.
Love is lost and sometimes re-found if good fortune favours you and maybe the brave.
Children suffer; best interests I hear you say.
But does anyone really understand?
For too many it is all about me, me, me.
Sadly, it is all about agendas and egos, it is all about me, me, me.
(From ‘Storm Clouds & Silver Linings; My Journey’ by Tom Stodulka)


Life as a mediator can have its challenges, especially when working in the family mediation space. People bring their stressful experiences and lives into the mix and you have a role to assist them to help find a resolution to sometimes intractable situations. Finding a peaceful solution can sometimes be a mere illusion. The emphasis has to be on the children’s best interests and managing these in the day to day scenarios of life in a complex world can test the most willing of parents. Too often battle lines are drawn and the war is being waged in a system fraught with complex layers even the lawyers and judges are sometimes overwhelmed by.
Working in what some say is a broken system and in much need of revision and improvement, clearly sets a huge burden for all involved, let alone the parents and the children. It is the parents and the children who are caught up in a fight which too often can result in even more hostility and pain than when the process started. It was never meant to be so hard.


Original artwork by Zdeny Stodulka

Instead of focussing on the children’s needs and best interests parents can find themselves arguing about money matters. Battle lines are drawn and an adversarial system is unleashed with too often unknown consequences for the victims caught up in the wash. It becomes a fight as to how can each parent get the best financial deal out of each other, which is influenced sometimes by governments which are increasingly being squeezed to keep up with the day to day demands of their constituents.
Despite these challenges facing the community every day, all of us have to stay on track with the common ground goal of finding what is in a child’s best interests. To do otherwise makes it even harder for our greatest asset-our children.


1 thought on “A Mediator’s Daily Fare

  1. A profound challenge that you articulate well, Tom. As a once-counselor, I can relate, not only to the conflicting agendas but to how hard it is to navigate a system that puts so much pressure on parents and families. Add messed up cultural values and sometimes the needs of the child get overlooked altogether.


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