Family and the Workplace – Sacred Spaces

The Family and the workplace are the two places in most people’s lives where their identities are played out to the fullest. In each of these places, the individual asserts himself or herself in ways that continue to redefine them as people causing them to grow and forcing them to understand themselves in a social setting. The family and the workplace can make our lives joyful or miserable in a big way depending on how we fit in, react, socialize, and partake.

Family life is the core circle for so many of us. It is where we seek and receive love, give love, and process love by and through others within the family. As individuals within the family unit, if we do not respect, cherish, and love the others within our family the unit does not prosper and moreover, we as people do not prosper. The family is our first test ground for understanding how to deal with others and understanding how others deal with us. Continuing to run away from family or continually seeking out a new family can be indicative of an inability to function with people in a productive way. That kind of behavior often demonstrates a person who is selfish, stubborn, unable to compromise, and tunnel-visioned because of an inability to look outside the self. Respect is so key in familial relationships because it accords all members with dignity and when any human can see and feel that the other believes them to have dignity, their trust increases, their willingness to compromise increases, and their love increases.

Respect for others is equally needed within the workplace. This arena, like the family, allows for so much growth and opportunity to become the person you are meant to be precisely because it requires each individual to respect others and himself in a way that ensures the growth of all the people within the workplace. Here is where so many key parts of any person’s identity are released not only because you achieve value monetarily but also because you become valuable to the workplace family and those clients who need you. Continued conflict in the workplace can be equally telling of someone who refuses to grow, is locked up within him or herself, or simply does not believe his fellow man should be accorded dignity whether that is due to racism, arrogance, classism, sexism, or a host of other internal issues. When respect is present in the workplace, as in the family, the relationships take on the stability that can handle differences or disagreements in a more productive way that ultimately allows for individual growth which, when unleashed, brings so much joy to life.

Mediating in these two areas is so important to me as a mediator. I consider these two arenas sacred space and know-how effective mediation as a tool is in strengthening these core arenas to society. The more people understand how important these structures are to all of us as people, the more we will look away from courtrooms as our solutions and will look at mediation as the natural answer to conflict.

Zena Zumeta is an amazing person I have read extensively about and believe has her finger on the same pulse of mediation as me. She sees the spirituality in the mediation work she does as do I. We are all connected as brothers and sisters in this world. Until science finds other life, we only have each other. Staying connected is one of the keys to happiness. Have a listen.


by Brenda A. Baietto