Consistency in the face of Disagreement

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mediation training educates one to be aware of the underlying reasons for decisions made by parties to a case. The mediator works to help the parties see the wisdom or erroneous nature of their beliefs. Sometimes, the reasons the parties are in mediation have absolutely nothing to do with the lawsuit or argument that actually brought them there.

As an attorney, I explain the law to clients. Oftentimes I explain the same principle of law or procedural technicality repeatedly. As the client persists in positions that I cannot put forward, my patience thins and I question my choices and decisions.

Mindfulness allows one to calm the mind. With that quiet time, an awareness arises. With continued mindfulness practice, this awareness becomes a habit.

Awareness permits one to look at the root of a decision or choice. Am I making a decision based on ego? Based sound reason and logic? Is my advice founded in some other motivation? Am I being foolish in my consistency?

The self-confidence and awareness which result from mindfulness provide a magnificent foundation for dealing with my clients and the public. A correct decision based on law is not foolish no matter how hard the client pushes or adversary pushes.


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