Ho'oponopono: Some lessons from Hawaiian mediation
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In closing, we offer some words of caution to our prescriptions. Most of the steps in ho'oponopono require mediators to hold substantial power, and implementation of these steps increases this power. When empowered, the mediators must avoid a variety of power-based pitfalls (Rubin 1994); namely, they should not disrupt a conflict that is moving toward resolution on its own; they should not press their own interests; and they should not impose an agreement.
Failure to heed this caution will teach our mediators a lesson the Polynesians learned centuries ago: Applying force to an entanglement — be it a rope or relationship — appears initially to improve the problem. Yet it usually makes it worse.
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