long time no message on this blog. Today I would like to greet you with this picture of Iranian women demonstrating for a democratic opening.
How does it make you feel?
I feel encouraged. Envigorated. Ready to continue the journey.
Some of you might object.
As mediators we do not take sides. Our job is to develop empathy for all sides and to facilitate the search for common ground. Yes, and our job is also to see the early signs of opening, to make them more visible, sometimes even to highlight them.
In his book "Mediating Dangerously: The Frontiers of Conflict Resolution" (2001), Kenneth Cloke offers a list of alternative definitions of conflict. I quote one such definition which I consider particularly relevant in this context:
"Conflict is often a result of secrets, concealments, confusions, conflicting messages, cover-ups, and what we have failed to communicate. Conflict hides in the shadows. When one of the parties throws a light on it, it disappears." (p.7)
I see the fresh new green of the Iranian movement bringing in more light on a dark landscape. It will help us in the search for a better dialogue that we all need so badly, at home and in the world.