Why does conflict resolution begin with Sustained Dialogue?
     Why does Sustained Dialogue begin with STORY and not "issues?"
people often ask.
     The answer begins with a third question:

     What is the most powerful weapon of all to fashion our future?
     Armaments of death?  Barriers to hide behind?  Punishing and controlling civilians? 
     Marches and media wars that elevate oneself and dimish the "other?"
     No.  None of them.
     Consider STORY POWER.
     STORIES are the new weapons, the single most powerful tools for communication and change.  

     "Sometimes we need stories more than food to stay alive," said Robert Bly, and re-affirmed:
        Karen Dietz, President
        Polaris Associates, Jonesborough, TN -- http://www.polaris-associates.com/

     Karen may be more right than she imagined.
     "An enemy is one whose story we have not heard," is time-tested wisdom from educator Ms. Gene Knudsen-Hoffman.

     And our choice of story will allow us to survive and excel, or not, and shape who we are.
     "People become the stories they hear and the stories they tell," says Elie Wiesel.
     So what is our most important story?
     To become our highest and most human, we must first understand our shared story of being here on Earth together -- One, neighbors forever.
     Totally interdependent.  No individual survival.
     Watch and listen to streaming video for a minute of Joseph Campbell, with Bill Moyers, clarifying in "The Power of Myth" that the only guiding story worth considering is that of Earth and all of us listening and cooperating.


     Why do stories have such explosive power?
     What do stories do? 

     * * STORIES bridge wide gaps between people.
     * * STORIES convey ideas, knowledge and wisdom better -- and two to three times faster -- than any other form of communication.
     * * STORIES decrease the time it takes to communicate complex plans and information.
     * * STORIES will be remembered and repeated far more frequently than any factuall report.
     * * STORIES reduce resistance to change by 20% or more.
     * * STORIES collapse from months to weeks the times required to create public awareness of new ideas.

     More about Story is at http://traubman.igc.org/story.htm and http://traubman.igc.org/messages/433.htm .

     In contrast and fruitlessly, most Palestinians and Jews line up their supporters to continue shouting facts and statistics in the war for victimhood, while blaming the "other" and accepting little responsibility -- the prescription for continued war and predictable failure.
     While lashing out loudly and listening little, nothing changes.
     Both Jews and Palestinians still felt isolated, like no one else in the world cares about them.

     But last week a new kind of story emerged before our eyes.
     We saw how story, not political barrages, can increase global sympathy. interest and support for both peoples.

     In 2006, the story of Palestinian women has been written by a young woman in India.
     Kolkata journalist Aditi Bhaduri ( Aditi_cal@yahoo.com ) traveled to the Middle East to hear with empathy human experiences. 
     Her chapter that humanizes is in the newly released:
                "Women Across Asia: Issues of Identities"
                Published by The Indian Association for Asian & Pacific Studies
                        and the WSRC, Calcutta University

     At the same time, Jewish identity and story has come to Japanese awareness through "Fiddler on the Roof," the heartfelt musical about Jewish history, challenges and aspirations.  
     See the Japanese in streaming video as they practice telling another people's story with great purpose:


     Finally, prepare yourself for March's instructional story of the season -- BREAKING THE ICE.
     For four weeks, citizens from war-involved nations will trek cooperatively from Jerusalem across the Sahara desert to Tripoli, Libya.
     Follow these women and men -- http://www.breaking-the-ice.de/index.php?page=journeys_sahara_diary -- from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the former Soviet Union and the United States.
     Their professed mission: no less than healing the rift between Western and Muslim ideologies.

     Here Friday's story of BREAKING THE ICE --  a new myth for the days, months and years just ahead:

                Published in the FORWARD -- New York, NY -- Friday, 17 February 2006
                On the Web at http://forward.com/main/article.php?ref=sacks200602151042
                Cooling Tensions
                Pairing the world's most volatile relationships with the world's most unforgiving environments,
                a new nonprofit organization takes conflict resolution to new heights