Dr. Deri Ronis has been providing innovative seminars and workshops for over three decades to schools, corporations, government agencies and religious organizations. She earned a Doctorate in International Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, pioneering numerous programs which include mediation, meditation, anger management and stress reduction. Through her talks, CD’s and books, Dr. Deri has afforded many people the practical tools for choosing to create positive change and healthy relationships in their everyday lives. You can contact her at www.DrDeri.com.

She lived and taught in the Bahamas from 1979 t9 1984. She has spoken at many venues over the past 3 decades. She was a Rotary International Goodwill Ambassador and University Professor Grant Recipient teaching at Galen University and Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio, Belize in 2007. She is currently a Fulbright Specialist Grant Recipient.

Her past work was as the lead trainer in Peer Mediation at New College with the Sarasota World Affairs Council. She is currently an ESOL professor, her undergraduate degree in English to Speakers of Other Languages with many immigrants in Sarasota at Suncoast Technical College. Her private practice in mediation, coaching, and consulting to corporations, non profits, families and individuals has helped many people achieve peace of mind. She is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family and County Mediator, a U.S. Postal Redress Mediator, a Trainer in Anti Bullying and Cyber Bullying with the ADL, Anti Defamation League, and an EAP trainer, (Employee Assistance Programs). She is a published author. To reach Dr. Deri contact her on her website www.DrDeri.com or her phone is 561-644-3904.

The times they are changin!

by Dr. Deri Ronis

Many you reading this article will no doubt recall the words from this famous Bob Dylan song. What I realize is that just as music is timeless, so is history. We have all heard the expression that history repeats itself and then other words from another famous song, “When will they ever learn?”

Having been fortunate to serve as a mediator in many different venues over the past three decades, I realize that many conflicts are the same; just in different locations and situations. For example, how different is a family mediation compared to a corporate mediation, or a political or school based one?

At the heart of all mediations is the desire to know what could work for all conflicted parties involved even if they don’t get everything they wanted, they at least walk away with something new they didn’t have and the opportunity to adjust to living in a new way. That has been my observation, especially as a US Postal Redress Mediator for 3 decades. Even if the parties don’t reach a settlement they feel as if they have been heard, and that is what most people need and want.

When I was growing up we never heard expressions like, “be kind,” or civility, because we were kind and civil. I marvel at how strange the world has become on many levels. Yet, I also see that while everything changes, nothing changes and things remain the same.

When we think of the whole field of Alternative Dispute Resolution, the 3 themes of power, domination and control come to mind for me. So, in essence, learning to live in a culture without those aspects is what we are trying to create. The only control is self control, the only power is empowerment or shared power and the only domination is the higher self over the lower self, which basically means living with integrity.

What I have always found frustrating in this work is many times, the feeling of preaching to the choir. Where are all the others who think differently? Do they care? Do they want to learn to live in a different way? One of the great lessons learned over the years in my research is to know I don’t have anyone else’s answers, only suggestions of what they might find helpful.

And so it goes, time moves forward and our generation moves into the next phase of their existence just as our forebears did. In closing, you have all heard the saying that the only things we can be certain of are death and taxes. Might I invite you to contemplate what is really important and seek to pass that on to others; compassion, non-judgment, and acceptance? As my Dad used to say, “Do your best, let God do the rest.” If you have other beliefs you can substitute the word universe!