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XCIX: Love Doesn't Always Win!

We are raised with the fairy tale versions of love and romance. Disney tells us watered-down versions of tragic stories that somehow end in love and not the tragedy that they really ended in, and television shows sell us versions of life that simply don’t exist anymore.

THE REALITY IS…

Rarely do you end up with the love of your life. Rarely do you end up not regretting your ultimate choices. What we miss in all of the Disney stories and TV shows is the fact that reality is much different. When you fight and that loneliness kicks in, the vulnerability kicks in harder and mistakes are made.

When you think that there is no fix to your relationship — because who shows up at your window with a radio playing you guys’ song anymore and apologizing — you take the easy road and you quit because there’s always someone who is also alone who will “help you through your break up”.

Next thing you know, you’re married and regret everything. Love does not “always win” anymore.

RESPONSIBILITY, TIMING, EASE, AND COMFORT ARE THE REAL WINNERS!

Responsibility

Sometimes, doing the right thing is hard and it means hurting 1, 2, or 3 people to ‘be the bigger person’. Sometimes you have to lose everything in the name of being responsible. And sometimes you have to live out everyday knowing full-well what you’ve done and why you’ve done it — you’re stuck. Not in love, but in life…

Timing

The less time you have to spend actually hurting, reflecting and healing, the better, right? These days lazy is the default.

I mean, who wants to sit around and think about the hurt that they’ve caused or actually grow up when they can just scroll down social media or look around and find someone who also doesn’t want to be alone. Next thing you know, we’re calling a fling of convenience “heaven sent” and timing wins again.

Ease

Don’t even have me ramble on in this section, we all know that we are sliding, full force, into the time of ease. Whatever’s easiest is usually the choice for MANY people, and, I mean, in the age of everyone needing attention there are very few people making things anything other than easy.

Comfort

Comfort kills.

And the thing about it is that the first thing that many people say is that they live outside of their comfort zones. But, I guarantee that if you spend one month with them (and not even that long) you will soon see that their comfort zone is their home. It’s all they know. And they are only fooling themselves.

Comfort is what keeps a lot of people where they are. It keeps them for going for what they actually want. It keeps them from trying. It keeps them from being honest. It keeps them from bliss.

But, let them tell it, 🎶comfort don’t live here anymore🎶. Lies.

WITH THESE THINGS BEING THE FACTS OF OUR DAY…

I don’t know whether I’m in full support of leaving any and all situations when they aren’t right or fighting for what you have. I can tell you that I used to fully advocate for fighting for what’s yours, fighting for what you’ve worked at, fighting for “love”.

But…

These days, people are so selfish with their decisions that they really make you have to fight for something that you should have already had! They’re so selfish that they expect any and all of their bad actions to go unpunished. They’re so selfish…

These days, all relationships give me pause — friendships, dating relationships, significant others, etc., with the way a lot of people play, I’ve learned that this game/joke that they’ve made out of love is NOT FOR ME.

so, I DON’T KNOW WHO NEEDS TO HEAR THIS, BUT:

Don’t be their fallback plan.

Don’t be their second choice.

Don’t be the reason that they’re “stuck”.

Don’t be the one who makes your children suffer through a bad marriage just to keep a marriage.

Don’t be the one who ignores all of the signs.

Don’t believe that love won’t knock on your door again.

Don’t convince yourself that you don’t deserve more.

Check yourself.

Check your spouse/partner/bf/gf.

Be real with yourself.

Be real with others.

Keep your head up.

Don’t you ever forget that Love is a privilege reserved for the victor.
— Eli Pope

XCIII: Keeping An Open Mind - My Problem With Legal Online Dispute Resolution

Online dispute resolution is exactly what it sounds like: it is communication online or over the phone wherein judges and lawyers facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties.

My biggest problem with this is that we already live in a world where laziness and a failure to do one’s job is the status quo. Taking the “personal” out of the mediation or arbitration experience, in my opinion, would simply do a disservice to clients everywhere.

BUT, I CANNOT PRETEND LIKE THERE AREN’T MANY BENEFITS:

The biggest benefit is that, for those who cannot make it to the courthouse for arbitration, or to the mediator’s office for a mediation, they can literally just find a space with Wifi and get the dispute resolution that they seek.

Another benefit to Online Dispute Resolution is that it frees up the courts a bit. Although there are separate moving pieces for everything, judges, lawyers, and mediators are busy!

Being able to settle cases or resolve matters while on the go could free up time for attorneys and mediators, so there’s potentially more benefits there. I just have a hard time looking past the negatives of ODR.

One last positive is for the people who are out of the country and need to “attend” a proceeding. Instead of making them travel across the world, they can simply travel to a quiet spot with wifi and connect with their mediator, attorney or judge.

So, I can’t say that ODR is all bad, but I definitely look at it with extreme reserve. I just believe that we cannot take the “personal” out of the legal experience and still do a good job at being advocates for our clients.

LAW IS A CUSTOMER SERVICE FIELD WHETHER PEOPLE KNOW IT OR NOT.

Lawyers rely on their clients (in many cases) to keep their businesses going. This means that they are in the business of people, i.e. customer service. If your client isn’t happy about the fact that she can’t reach you at all, then she’s going to spread the word and before you know it, you’re known as the attorney who was too busy for her client.

In law, reputation is everything, so it would behoove any attorney to realize this and act accordingly.

Keeping the clients first means that you are communicating effectively and when needed. It means that you are there to answer their questions, no matter how small. When you sign a client up, you are signing up for the contact even if it seems like overkill.

Yes, the majority of this contact will be done over the phone, but I know from experience that the clients look forward to those moments where they get to actually sit down with the attorney and talk face to face. For some reason, these are the only times that they feel that their needs are being met and that they are heard in a realm that many of them have no clue about.

ALL I’M SAYING IS THAT…

We need to keep the part about lawyering where the lawyer actually cares, tries to communicate with his/her clients, and is about more than just a check.

I’ve seen it in my years of being a law clerk that there are attorneys whose only concern is the check, but I have faith because I literally worked at a firm where every single lawyer cared about their clients (good and bad) and cared about getting the best break for their clients beyond the check.