The Passage of Time/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on December 16, 2018


It has been said that journalism is “history in a hurry”. Events unfold and professionals report it and try to put it in a proper context. Ultimately, facts get sorted out more precisely and a true picture emerges as to the significance of an event. I have heard historian Jon Meacham suggesting that a period of 25 years (and no less) is needed to get the historical perspective. The point remains that often we get a reading (only)from history, and this is only obtained after a number of years have passed.

In negotiations, we tend to act or react to events that are fresh in our minds. Something is important and we are upset with those who have caused our distress or disappointment. But things may look very different with the passage of time. We litigate matters that seem to be of great importance to us now, but can we be sure that the effort to “engage” others in battle will still look wise in the years that ensue. Before you choose to litigate, ask yourself if you are sure that your battle is for a worthy cause and is, and will be, of importance to you in the future years. The wisest course is often the simplest one; mediate don’t litigate.