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11 Mediation Q. 67 (1993-1994)
Revenge, forgiveness, and the magic of mediation

handle is hein.journals/cfltrq11 and id is 69 raw text is: 

Revenge, Forgiveness, and

the Magic of Mediation

Kenneth  Cloke

    Mediators often deal with parties whose anger has become a force more
    powerful than self-interest. In these situations, the neutral must find ways
    of releasing the parties from vengeful, self-harming behavior by creating an
    alternative in forgiveness and reconciliation. This article explores defini-
    tions of anger, revenge, and forgiveness as well as the occasions and reasons
    for experiencing these emotions. Practical and creative techniques involving
    symbol, ritual, and storytelling are suggested so that parties may forgive
    one another and begin the healing process.

As  a mediator, I often encounter parties whose anger  has become  a force
more  powerful  than  self-interest, especially in cases involving shame or
humiliation. I have tried to find ways of releasing them from vengeful, self-
harming   behavior by  creating an  alternative in forgiveness and  recon-
ciliation. This cannot be done directly, since it will be interpreted as favoring
the other side, but it can be done subtly and indirectly, or directly after the
issue has been settled. The following are my ruminations and experiments in
attempting to transform revenge into forgiveness, using the magic of media-
tion. These ideas will not work always or for everyone, but that they work at
all continues to amaze and inspire me.
    A large part of the history of the world can be written as a search for re-
venge. Nearly  everyone, at some point in their lives, imagines, desires, or
pursues some  act of revenge, the purpose of which  is to balance out some
previous harm  or injustice. Revenge begins quite simply with anger, which is
    In mediation, anger is a kind of map to the source of the conflict. It is a
release of the brake we use to prevent ourselves from expressing our feelings.
It is the flip side of vulnerability and a step in its direction. Most divorcing
couples know  intuitively that there is something worse than anger, which is
    When   anger is used to cover  up a fear, it creates a new fear. Anger
reduces  listening and cuts through  denial, which  creates more anger  in


MLDIAIIUN QUARTMLY, VOL 11, no. 1, Fall 1993 Qjossey-B- Publishen

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