“I am tired. And I need a better tomorrow.”
“You don’t understand, Mr. Jordan,” commented Mrs. Johnson. “I am raising a 13 and 9 year old grandson and granddaughter. This injury has turned my entire life upside down. I hurt all the time, I’m frustrated because I’m not making the same amount of money, and I’m still trying to raise these two kids as best I can. I’ve got to find a way to a ‘tomorrow’ that gives me a better quality of life than the ‘today’ of being stuck in this system.”
Injured workers and their families want something very simple: a better tomorrow. A physical injury and all of its challenges to daily life, coupled with the hoops and loops of the system create a “today” that is painful and frustrating for all involved.
This is not a “today” Mrs. Johnson wants to continue having.
All she wants is a better tomorrow; one that is vastly different from the string of “todays” she has been living for the last three years since her work-related accident.
The best path to this better tomorrow begins with relational trust. In mediation, as well as in life in general, carving that path starts with an understanding of the choices for “tomorrow”. Then, together, through discussion, information sharing, and relationship building, we narrow those choices into what best fits the situation.
There’s no magic to mediation. It is simply relational trust among people exploring options together, and the opportunity for them to ultimately decide what they want their tomorrow to look like.
After several hours, Mrs. Johnson made a decision that left her feeling as if her tomorrow would be different than it had been for many years.
Choosing a better tomorrow.
That’s how the Prism Group does mediation.