The mediator as power broker

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There once was a poor devout man, his old blind mother, and his barren wife. After many years of prayer, God inquired of him what one thing he truly desired. He went home to discuss the matter with his mother and his wife. They could not agree on a single request: his mother wanted her sight back; his wife wanted a son; and he wanted a job so he could support his family. The poor man left the house and consulted with a mediator, telling him of his dilemma: &#x201C;My mother wants eyesight, my wife wants a son, and I, I would like a bit of money so we can eat everyday. What shall I ask? Whose needs come first?&#x201D; <br /> The mediator thought for a moment, then he answered: &#x201C;You must not choose for any one of your family alone, but for the good of all. Say, &#8216;Oh Lord, I ask nothing for myself; my wife asks nothing for herself; but my mother is blind, and her desire is, before she dies, to see her grandson eating milk and rice from a golden bowl&#8217;.&#x201D; <br /> (Adapted from the folk tale: <i>Wisdom of the Mediator</i> &#x2014; Trinidad)


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