I can’t think about bricks without thinking of what holds them together — mortar!
Bricks are metaphors for all the skills and capacities we bring and mortar the way we weave them together. Or, maybe bricks are our stories and mortar is the act of listening.
Using this metaphor, I think of the work I do in mediation, especially transformative mediation. When someone is in conflict, the bricks are not being held together. The mortar is not working. There is nothing to hold the bricks together. Think of a wall as a community. Each brick is essential to the wall. Each brick is an individual in the community. If any one or two bricks start to crumble, it jeopardizes the whole wall. Everything could come tumbling down!
So, the question is how do we transform the wall? If you think of the mortar as listening, then when listening and responding to someone’s stories breaks down (the mortar) there are cracks in the wall. At the worst level, the cracks lead to decay. The best way to stop the decay is to find a way to listen!
In mediation, the mediator’s prime job is listening and reflecting. This process helps the other parties start to hear each other again. Like the mortar, it helps rebuild the connection between the parties. Once understanding is reached, the parties can start to make decisions and those decisions will start transforming the way they talk to one another. It provides an opportunity for repair!
I love the idea of brick walls standing firm in their relationship with one another. As we all should stand firm in our relationship with each other!
Today’s images are from my phone. They are the bricks in my home. They are my wall. So, a part of my living is in this post!