They chose to hear one another, to consider each other’s perspective and not simply made demands. They worked within one another’s Yes Zone.

The McKay Tract will not be cut.

via One Poem That Saved a Forest by Jacqueline Suskin — YES! Magazine.

Big business, the little guy. Big Oil and Gas, the little guy. We often feel pitted against each other, at war where the only result can hold defined winners and losers. There can be no common ground. Until someone changes the script.

Sometimes those experiences happen unexpectedly like in the case of an innocent meeting between poet Jacqueline Suskin and Neal Ewald, Senior Vice President of Green Diamond Resource Company.

The innocent meeting was a Poem Store, “a public project that consist of exchanging on demand poetry about any subject composed on a manual typewrite, in trade for any donation.”

The first poem was on the subject of being underwater.  Later, he contacted the poet again. This time with a much more personal request  – special personal poem the family could read when they spread his late wife’s ashes.

A bond and a friendship were formed. Out of that friendship came action. Neal didn’t want to be the bad big business guy. He really did prefer to work with his protagonists to find ways to do things better.

Above all we focused on one word: yes

Neal is dedicated to the discovery of how to say

yes. He wants to disrupt the concept that there

needs to be opposition. Throughout his career

in forestry he has strived to find a way to

dismantle dichotomy and meet his adversaries

in the middle.

Her poetry, the connections they made together resulted in ripples that did create a wave. Land that was scheduled to be destroyed wasn’t, and the solution ended up letting everyone win.

These two rivals figured out how to meet and discuss the forest while avoiding dehumanization. It didn’t matter that they disagree about so many things. They chose to hear one another, to consider each other’s perspective and not simply made demands. They worked within one another’s Yes Zone.The McKay Tract will not be cut.

It’s always possible if you believe it is and then do the work to make it so.

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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