Personal Accountability/Martin Rosenfeld

Posted on December 22, 2010

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A nationally-syndicated writer, Mona Charen, took on the First Lady, Michelle Obama, for her decision to challenge the nutritional value of subsidized school lunches. The First Lady stated that Federal action was needed now to defeat childhood obesity because it was not sufficient to entrust proper decision-making to parents.

In the course of her piece, Ms. Charen suggests several decisions that could have been made in lieu of federal preemption of parental decision-making. The op-ed ends by Ms. Charen arguing that parent-supervised lunches would ratify the proposition that parents are responsible for their own children’s actions.

Mediation is not the only option for attaining a divorce. There is always litigation. (Statistically speaking the frequency of mediation is all-too minimal, unfortunately.) However, the dynamic of litigation is such that decisions that should be made by the parties tend to be influenced in great manner by the respective attorneys. What to say, when to speak, what ethical course to take…these decisions and many others tend to be made only after the attorneys have weighed in with their “advice”. Is this wrong? This is how the adversarial system works. However, mediation avoids the need to consider your former spouse as an adversary. And it holds you exclusively accountable for how you conduct yourself during the process of divorce. As Ms. Charen reminds us, adults should not flinch from the need to be held accountable. Consider mediation if you feel that being held to personal standards of accountability for what you do is actually a great gift given to us all.

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