by Jan Yuill

Our condominium is revising its Rules for Pets. As with any list of rules, there is ample room for misinterpretation, so several of us (mostly pet owners) have put forward a petition for the board to postpone implementation until some questions are answered.

I decided to take the petition with me when I went for a swim the other day. There was an older lady already there, doing her exercises. I asked her if she had had a chance to sign it yet.

She told me. Lots. It was obvious that we were on opposite sides of the condo pet debate. I listened and considered what she had to say. Each time I tried to express my point of view, she interupted. I decided not to do battle. She had made up her mind.

As she was winding down, she said, “What would happen if we had to consider every person’s point of view?”

This was her final comment. I had barely said anything. She continued on silently with her exercises. I continued on silently with my swim.

But I kept thinking of her words. What would happen if we considered every person’s point of view?

And then it came to me. PEACE!

Carefully listening to another person’s point of view does have the power to change the world. In fact, it is probably the only way to change the world. One person, one relationship, one condo community, one city, one province, one country … at a time.

(Relationships are the focus of the Customer Service and Membership Potential interface in the Organizations Alive! Model. Giving and receiving is fundamental to all relationships, … where peace or war is made.

Rule-making is found in the Strategic Vision quadrant, and implementing them would be in Resource Management – entirely opposite to the relationships interface. Rules are made to keep order, but they have the power to create chaos.)