Prayer for the Day Script - Monday 18th September with Pádraig ÓTuama
Today, 18th September, marks the anniversary of Mo Mowlam’s birth in 1949. An academic and politician, serving as MP for Redcar from 1987 to 2001.
In Northern Ireland, she's remembered as the Secretary of State from 1997 to 1999 and therefore as one of the principle architects of the Good Friday Agreement."
In this role, she proved herself to be a person of charisma. She’d always spoken her mind and this reputation no doubt helped bring all sides together. I remember once watching television footage of her going into, and a number of hours later, out of, a room of negotiation. Her face was determined on the way in. On the way out, her face was exhausted but proud: negotiations had succeeded.
Negotiation is part of our everyday. We negotiate with partners, children, parents. We negotiate with our bosses, with our employees, with our colleagues. We probably negotiate with our pets, and we certainly negotiate with ourselves. Queues are a certain form of negotiation.
A friend of mine, who is a lawyer, realised that negotiation skills may be genetic, when she said to her three year old “No more grapes before dinner”. “Here’s the deal” her daughter said “How about two more?”
The word negotiate itself literally means “lack of leisure”. It implies hard work. It is not meant to be relaxing, it is meant to demand, ideally from all, something that asks much of all for the benefit of all.
God of work
We turn towards each other
in the hope that we might find solutions that work
Sometimes we wish to win
other times we hope that all can win.
Turn us towards wisdom in our negotiations.
So that we can find solutions
that benefit all,
not just few.