Allegedly, all are real cases and true events. This year, the two Christmas Mediators are again facing a new challenge. They need to deal with the three holy kings in mediation. Is it this time an intercultural mediation? Is it an interpersonal mediation? The reader may decide if and where to find the mediation and mediation landscape in it. As usual Medi & Ator master this case in their own way, since both are the inventors of Christmas-Mediation.

Episode VII as PDF

Download and Linking

You can also download the 7th episode of Medi & Ator, the Christmas Mediators, as a PDF. You are welcome to forward the file, link the story or recommend the link

Episode VII as PDF

The Three Kings

“Another year is over now”, said Medi wistfully with a regret. Time is running so quickly and there was so much she wanted to do over the year. “Thank God I must not write Christmas Cards this year. That makes it a little bit easier for me”, she tried to comfort herself. Her regret should sound sarcastic. But Ator’s questioning view caused her to clarify her complain. “This is because of the DGSVO, the Data Protection Regulation”, she explained. Medi rolled her eyes when she mentioned that word. “The name is DSGVO”, was Ator’s immediate correction. “But what prevents you, sending Christmas cards though? If there are friends who do not want to receive some Christmas greetings they can admonish”, suggested Ator quite unmediatively. “It is good for business as we then can turn the dispute about sending those cards into a mediation”, he introduced his spontaneous business concept for Christmas mediators since both are still looking fort he best way to aquire mediation services. “How does it sound? Christmas card disputes and Christmas Mediation fits very well together, doesn’t it? Mediators are still living off the fight at Christmas. You can suggest me as to be the mediator then, to resolve the dispute”. Did Medi really understand that Ator’s suggestion should be a joke?

For Medi the topic was not fun at all. “Good tip”, she whistled to Ator out of the corner of her mouth. Then she added seriously: “I am looking for a way out, not only for the data management, which is not just affecting my friends, but also our clients and for the cancellation policy”. Ator felt that this is his task of the Chrsitmas Mediator’s business. He was the lawyer of both. He therefore continued his provocation: “So you want to teach your friends that your Christmas greetings are revocable in order to escape the adhortatory letter?!? Did I understand you correctly?”. Medi was not convinced. „You know exactly that I meant the mediation contract and our customer data”.

As said, Medi understood the topic no fun. “Don’t you know that beyond the advise on voluntariness we’ll have to submit a revocation notice when concluding a mediation contract?“, she asked Ator quite seriously. “Not always”, Ator corrected her, knowing the problem, of course. “But yes, it is good as it is”, he concluded to Medi’s surprise. Ator did not come out of sarcasm: “You have no idea how dangerous a mediation can be. Imagine, it even could end in quarrel”. Ator winked as he delivered his not serious warning. He knew that Medi’s view was perfectly correct and that the call for state power harms mediation rather than it helps. Only small corrections that inspire the way to cooperation are acceptable. What changes should be applied is not what the evaluation of the mediation law, explained. Some small changes of the law are recommended in a watchlist, where meaningful legal corrections are explicitly proposed .

The inventors of the Christmas Mediation had long since been thinking about the way how to implement mediation. Both reminded very accurately their meeting with Dr. Niko Laus, some years ago. He pointed out that mediators should be examples where medition becomes visible to everybody. Complaining and calling for state power is an example for everything else but mediation. At any rate, Medi & Ator had taken this to heart.

Mediation policy is a wide field and certainly not an issue for pre-Christmas time and Christmas mood. Christmas means celebrating the wish for peace. In the idea of peace, there seems to be deviations from politics. Although politicians want to force others into mediation, they themselves don’t want to get near to it. Why is that? Although Medi & Ator earned their money with the Christmas fights, they largely avoid exposing themselves to a dispute. That’s why Medi came back to her original idea in that talk.

“I’ve made only a fraction of what I’ve planned this year.” she pointed out for the second time. Ator knew that remarks someone repeated must be important. Nevertheless he understated Medi’s remark. “Who knows what this is good for”, he said, ignoring Medi’s plight. “A real mediator always stays calm, even when the sea gets stormy”. “Smartass”, said Medi. She not at all agreed with Ators instruction. “It’s YOU who need to say that”, defended Medi herself. “It’s YOU among us, who is the sacremonger. Too little demand, too little revenue, too little disputes …” she mimicked him. “How often had I to hear that? As if I could change something” Her final remark: “You do never have enough” was meant to bring her thoughts to the point.

“Okay, okay,” soothed Ator. Inwardly, he praised himself for relenting. His mock optimism should emphasize that Medi can only be wrong when she calls Ator a notorious pessimist. “After all, we have an increase in sales of 100%”, Ator replied proudly. “100% ?!?” Medi was both astonished and confused at the same time. “We had four mediations this year! And two of them were not even … “. Medi could not carry out her objection that this was not really mediation. Ator simply interrupted her: “Yes, that’s two more than the year before. And that’s an increase of 100% !!! Just think about it, in 10 years this will be 2048 mediations!”, Ator explained. “That’s something, isn’t it?. Ator mentally counted up to 23. Of course, starting from 20: 20, 21, 22, 23. Counting in mind should cause something like a thinking pause. A short break in talking always is needed to allow a thought setteling in the other’s mind or to emphasise one thought as to point it out. Ator had learned to give time to his communication partners when sentences should become a special weight, so that the thought can also be established in the head of the other person. The proof of not being a notorious pessimist was certainly a thought that had to be put down to Medi. Especially since Ator was able to add: “Now, who among us is the pessimist?”. Ator did not want to discuss this point any further. Therefore he added the ultimate proof of his exuberant optimism: “And soon the next mediands will arrive!”

Medi did not know what soon means and she for sure was scecpical in believing that. Therefore she feigned her enthusiasm when she replied with exaggerated cheerfulness: “Wow Ator, that’s great! Super”. If Ator’s announcement was true, of course, she was really happy. On the other hand, this announcement also gave cause for annoyance. Ator had simply accepted the mediation without sharing the decision with his partner, without informing her and without talking to her. To prevent information from a colleague or even to steel the case is simply a devious bullying. Or was it about women’s discrimination? #me too thought Medi. Now I’ll show you. According to this kind of non-mediative thinking her reaction was quite sharp: “And? … (emphasis thinking pause) … You think YOU even could manage?”. Ator heard the attack but misinterpreted. He recalled that Medi repeatedly exposed her advanced studies in mediation. Therefore Ator replied a bit annoyed: “I thought the issue would be through”. Medis subsequent “Do you even think…” was the starting point for semantics of reasoning which are not worth to be repeated. It was by no means the case that Medi & Ator practiced circular communication, at least not consciously. They also did not notice their bunny and hedgehog game, where they always switch the levels of facts and emotions. If they had been aware of the way they communicate, they woulöd have asked how that fits to mediators. They also would probably have learned that neither metacommunication nor paradoxical intervention was able to end their aggressive communication as accurately and efficiently like the doorbell could.

The five-fold gong reminding the five phases of mediation announced the good news. Ding Dong Dong Deng Ding. A mediand is coming! Medi knew too little about the case and the preliminary talks. That’s why she did not want to open the door this time. Instead, she urged Ator to exceptionally welcome the mediand himself.

Medi was amazed when she heard Ator greeted the strangely dressed man: “You are the magician, right”, she heard him say. “Yes You are right“ replied the arrival. He was medium-sized and middle-aged. He was wearing a medium-length black beard and a medium strange hat. He looks like a sultan, Medi thought to herself. “Yes, I am one of those”, the incomer answered. His accent was unmistakable. He added: “We are also astrologer. My name is Balthazar. Is the childlike Caspar already here? The old man Melchior is probably not here yet – as always”. “No, you are the first”, Ator replied. He did not show his astonishment at Balthazar’s choice of words. The words were ready remarkable. Of course a professional mediator like Ator could recognize. What is the meaning? he mused. He had no idea how to answer the question, he asked himself. Ator therefore stuck to the form: “Come in, please. You are a little early. Take a seat in our mediation hall, please. My colleague and I will come to you as soon as we will be completed. Can I offer you something to drink meanwhile?”. “Yes, please. I’ll take myrrh tea”, said Balthazar. “We expected that”, Ator boasted. He filled the cup one-third full and placed it on the table in front of Balthazar with a welcoming gesture. Ator heard that in some cultures it was impolite to fill up the cup completely. He filled it a third because oft he equilvalence when three mediands will be coming. Since he had not yet attended intercultural training, he did not know if and how to deal with those challenges.

When Ator came into the office room, Medi could not resist her ridicule: “Aha, it’s about a meeting of magicians. Did you told your colleagues about about the magic of mediation?“ she asked. Of course, the experienced Ator noticed the biting tone in Medis comments again. And the hint to his colleagues he preferred to not hear. However, for him it was of great importance to hear Medi’s opinion on the case. Because Balthazar phonded him just a few hours ago he didn’t have a chance to talk to Medi about it. His interest was not just to inform Medi about the call. Ator felt that this will be a tricky case. He would very much like to exchange professional views with Medi about that case. He also saw a need for support because Balthazar spoke with a clearly audible accent. Ator suspected that he was a foreigner. Then of course twice the four ears oft he communication square, that is 8 ears and four eyes are better than just two. He heard that one must pay attention to everything with foreigners.

When he revealed his need for discussion to Medi, she became as curious as peacable. She wondered what was so extraordinarily difficult about the case. “Difficult?”, Ator mused, “I do not know where the case is difficult. Strange would be more appropriate”, he explained. “The case seems to be challenging. But in a way that’s nothing special for us, isn’t it?”.

“I understand”, Medi wanted to help. “You and Balthazar, … (pause for setteling the thought ) … Balthazar is the one with the medium long beard, … (pause) … He looks medium weird. He is Jewish on his chin and Arab on his head. The belly definitely is German. Hmm and the color of his skin, I think it is not allowed to tell … (artificial pause) … He looks like someone from the East. In German it is called the Morning Land. … ( contemplative pause for thought ) … Anyway, you probably talked to him in detail about the case. How long did you talk actually?”. “Well , that was about one and a half hours”, answered Ator. “Balthazar is not easy to understand. He is from another culture”.

Medi’s question has clearly worried Ator: “Shouldn’t I have talked to him for so long?”, he asked. “No idea”, said Medi. “It was a one-to-one talk and you did not have the permission of the other mediands”. “How is that supposed to work when the others are not present, and even not known?”, interjected Ator. “Section two paragraph three of the German mediation act states, ….”. Medi, who was not actually the lawyer of the two triumphed internally. Showing up the law against a lawyer always has something erotic she found.

Ator was irritated. Only his unwavering pragmatism made him say, “That does not help us now. Melchior and Caspar can complain if they do not like it”. “But have you agreed?” Medi asked insistently. Her concern was primarily the fee. “I have not talked to them yet. But I assume that they agree to mediation”, Ator replied. “So you do not know if they’re paying our fees, you great business man!”. Medi scoffs to show her superiority. She had a comprehensive education. She could not help mentioning it again and again from time to time. “How could I?”, Ator replied. “If you let me speak, you will understand the problem”. “OK, let’s hear”, Medi enforced him eagerly.

“Balthazar explained to me”, said Ator, “that the three from abroad are on the way to somewhere looking for something to meet. It sounded a bit strange. They are here just in transit and do not want to settle down. Thus they are no refugees”. “Good to hear. More he did not tell to you?”, Medi interjected. “You could have used the Maieutics instead of falling in his extinctions”. “I did not want to run the risk that the mediation will not happen at the end”, Ator justified his behavior. Then he added: “They are probably following a star. I did not really understand what’s about. I guess it is something pagon and has to do with time. He told me something about tomorrow. … (thinking pause) … But You know. The communication is never really optimal with foreigners”. Medi knew pretty well how to correct Ator’s speculation: “First, it is not pagan, and secondly, it is not tomorrow, but the Orient is meant. In German the orient is called the land of the morning or the Morning Land”, Medi triumphed internally and said, “You see how important it is for a mediator to have a branch expertise. Otherwise he draws the wrong conclusions”. “I would have asked him if it had become relevant”, Ator defended himself. In any case, the two agreed that they should include the chapter “The Three Holy Kings” in the curriculum of their own training for Christmas mediation.

The professional dispute of the mediators of understanding was suddenly interrupted when the doorbell rang again. Ding Dong Dong Deng Ding. “That must be the next one”, Ator guessed. “I’ll open up”, he said. Medi could look down the corridor and see who was asking for her services. She saw a youth. He was strangely dressed as well. He had the skin color of a Southerner. He wore a kind of young turban and a young talar. Ator shook his hand. But the youth retreated without returning the handshake. Instead, he indicated a bow. Medi heard him say in broken German: “Bonjour, je suis Caspar. I was ordered to get here”. “No, you are free-willingly here”. Ator pointed out preventively, indicating that there is no discussison about. He had learned that voluntariness is not a question, and he did not want to risk losing the mediator again, wehn asking him about his voluntariness. So he immediately went to the agenda: “Balthazar is already here. … I lead you to him”.

Ator opened the door to the mediation room. Even though he always spoke of a mediation hall referring a courtroom, it was only a 16 square meter room with a round table in the middle. There were five chairs in front of the table. For every phase one. There was no waiting room. Medi and Ator always attached great importance to a suitable Christmas decoration. “This is part of the corporate identity”, emphasized Medi. It was important to her. She planned everything down to the smallest detail. That’s why she had also provided a sensual pastry. Variants of amber, which brightens the soul, melisse, which soothes the nerves and lavender, which has an anti-anxiety effect. Myrrh tea includes gold bears, she thought. She remembered that the gift of one of the kings was gold. The other one’s gift was incense, why they also had a candle with the smell of it. Yes, a round setting is the ne plus ultra in mediation. She always used to say that. That’s how she had learned it. A good setting replaced the paraphrase her instructor had always said. Or was it the other way around? In any case, she was sure that a good atmosphere can only help the negotiating climate. Medi even believed in a direct proportional relationship between global warming and the negotiating climate in world politics. The warmer the earth, according to their observation, the more heated the disputes are. The more heated the disputes, that was her further conclusion, the more unfixed are the facts and the more unreasonable are the results. Medi knows a lot of evidences for her thesis from politics and other decision-making processes. Her essay “Strife is easier than reasoning”, should warn to not be driven by conflicts. The last sentence of her essay was: “The Christmas Mediators perfectly will help you finding best solutions”, was a plea for her special competence.

Yes, the two were sorely afflicted about the decoration. They could not store a good reminiscense on their first mediation with Santa Claus, where he was confrontated with a chocolate figure wearing his costume in the biscuit basket, they decided on a technically sophisticated equipment over time. The new decoration allowed maximum flexibility and adaptation. It could project Christmas motifs on a wall of the mediation room, like a photo wallpaper. It was a great effect.

Actually the scene with the Christmas crib was the leading motif.

The design of the decoration was the result of long lasting negotiations among the Christmas mediators. They for example wondered what decorations should become visible if their services will meet Muslims, Hindus, Baha’is, Jews, Buddhists or what ever. Medi had heard that Muslims, for example, do not celebrate Christmas, but instead the sacrificial festival and the festival of fasting. She was not sure though. She too had not attended a seminar in intercultural mediation. So she did not know whether the reference to Jesus’ birth in the nativity motive distracted the thoughts of a Muslim i.e. about an agreement. Medi and Ator attached great importance to a neutral appearance. The client-centered decoration was certainly a great feature, even if they could not offer a motive for non-believers or those of other faiths.

Beyond those speculations Medi whispered on the way to mediation room: “Thank God, Ator. The crip motif fits at least in this case”. “Even though there are three kings pictured instead of one?” criticized Ator. He did not really want to give Medi the triumph over her decoration idea. So he had to object.

Arrived in the room with the crib motif, both were amazed when they noticed Balthazar’s sudden absence. Improvisation is everything, Ator told himself. So he simply told Caspar, “Balthazar is in the restroom. Should I also offer you a myrrh tea in the meantime?”. This announcement contained no thinking pause in order to not let the first sentence settle in Caspar’s mind. Whether a mediator may lie? This thought shot Ator through the head. But was it a lie? Was it no longer a guess, an opinion or an assumed fact? But who cares about the meta-information? Where else could Balthazar be? Ator filled the second cup again with only a third of it and placed it on the table in front of Caspar with the meanwhile practiced, inviting gesture. “We’ll come back to you as soon as you will be completed”, Ator announced. He hoped his stammering did not stand out. Of course, Ator did not believe that Balthazar went to the toilet. Something is rotten here, he thought.

Ator had to share his fears immediately with Medi. When he arrived in the kitchen, he said to her: “Somehow I had thought so already. There is always something going wrongly”. His voice was hectic. “What are you upset? Somewhere Balthazar will be for sure. A real mediator always stays calm, even when the sea gets stormy”, quoted Medi him. “Did you hear somebody going to the restroom?”, The fact-oriented Ator asks, although he knew the answer. “Now you’re exaggerating”, admonished Medi. “No, I do not! You do not know the history. Balthazar had prophesied exactly that. The three astrologer can not vote on the common path. That’s the problem. Balthazar said they would not come together. They never succeed. I thought, by that he meant the coming together in the sense of an agreement. In fact, he meant the real getting together. The meeting of persons. But what is reality? Balthazar also said that they interpreted the stars quite differently, as if they saw the firmament from very different angles and times. If they did not come from the East, the Morning Land, he would suppose Caspar came from the Morning Land, which ist he Orient, while Balthazar came from the Noon Land, which is in the middle of the day and Melchior came from the Evening Land, which is declared to be the Occident. Thus they are moving from Orient to Occident somehow”. Instead of asking how constellations of stars can change over the daytimes, Medi concluded with her own logic: “But they come together. … (pause for settling the thought) … otherwise they would not be able to determine their dissent. Maybe they meet in the day land?”. “Or not”, replied Ator, the concern-bearer.

Medi and Ator had no time to penetrate the logic deeper, because it rang again at the door. Ding Dong Dong Deng Ding. “The gong annoys”, Ator complained. “YOU are annoyed”, replied Medi. “Relax!”, she ordered Ator. „A real mediator always stays calm, even when the sea gets stormy”. Medi had to remonstrate the quotation again. Both went to the door. At the door they met an old man. Now this client had a long white beard. He was dressed strangely again, wearing an old hat that looked like a tarbush. Around the hat was an old, white scarf wrapped. The old hat not only emphasized the long white hair. The whole appearence of that man also underlined the foreign impression of this person. His age tended to be more in the association of the Evening Land, which is the Occident than a Morining Land, which is the Oriental country. “My name is Melchior”, the old man said in accent-free German. “I am one of the three from the Morning Land. Are the others already here?”. “Yes”, answered Medi. “Yes, but”, said Ator. “Anyway, now everyone has arrived once”. Again he leaves the pause for thinking. “We take you to the mediation hall”. Once there, Melchior stated unmoved: “Nobody there”.

“Please take a seat first”, Medi invited the mediand. “We will then fix the presence”. Ator looked at her with interest. “Aha?“, he whispered. “The decoration fits”, noticed Melchior unimpressed with a slightly sarcastic undertone. “Your numerics need to be improved.” Before Medi was able to think about whether this was an attack, Melchior added without a pause left for thinking: “But there are myrrh tea and gold bears. There is also an olibanum candle. The incense smell makes me feel right at home”. Melchior pointed out the artifacts on the table.

Medi and Ator felt that moment that the setting should be dealt newly. Medi was absolutely not sure if the mediands should feel at home. Regardless, Ator filled the third cup equally to the others again only a third full and presented it with the experienced, welcoming gesture before Melchior on the table.

The weird old man immediately and unsolicited began to complain of his suffering: “We are always presented as to be three magicians. You can see it on your decoration. There also are three kings as have been called later in time. You see them standing next to the crib. Unfortunately, that does not reflect the reality of how WE perceive it. We always feel alone as singles. This is how the year goes, year after year, over and over again. We have the task, to commonly get to … (pause for thinking) … I forgot how that place is called. We have to arrive there on January 6th … (pause for thinking) … or was it the 19th? Anyway, it was something with morning. We have never managed to walk the path together. It just is not true what they talk about us. Caspar always follows and I’m always ahead, despite my age. Balthazar is left somewhere in between. Apart from the fact that we interpret the stars differently, we can not even agree on whether we come from the Morning Land or we go to there”, Melchior sighed. Ator immediately noticed the paradox in saying that it was tomorrow. A mediator pays attention to everything; also on the tense. Ator intended to comfort Melchior when he said with a decidedly expressive look: “Maybe everything is about this?”. The illogical question should be a paradoxical intervention. At least that was Ator’s tricky idea. He could not guess at the moment that his question was not illogical at all and that he hit the nail on the head.

Melchior talked and talked like one of this kind of frequent speakers. Because no other party was present, the mediators let him speak unhindered. They trusted that the duration of the speech will somehow be reflected in the reward. Together with the 1.5 hour phone call with Balthazar they have already spent some time in this case. Nevertheless, they are still in the preliminary discussions or not?

As Melchior spoke, Ator came up with a lot of questions. Obviously the mediands come from a different culture. Are people from the Morning Land actually foreigners ina legal sense? He wondered. In any case, is the place where you want to go abroad or is the Morning Land not a place, but just a time? Do we have to conduct a cross border mediation, even if the mediands do not come from an EU country and is it still an intercultural mediation, when all but the mediators are from the same country, he wondered. Ator regretted more and more that he has not yet attended the course Intercultural Mediation. Therefore, he did not notice that he is dealing here with a culture that apparently has a polychronic understanding of time.

Even Medi came pondering. She considered that the conflict between Caspar, Balthazar, and Melchior was well suited for mediation. After all, it’s about finding a solution. Medi suspected a relationship conflict and painted a conflict map in her mind that reminded her of the drama triangle. She also wondered if this conversation was permissible at all. It would be a one-to-one interview, she thought to herself. She was aware that she was now ready to conduct such a conversation to do exactly what Ator had told her a few moments ago. She was also aware that no phase one had yet taken place. Above all, there was no fee agreement. Should she interrupt Melchior to clarify these crucial questions? On the other hand, she wondered how the parties could otherwise come together so that the mediation can finally start – or has it already begun? How should a mediation be carried out if a common conversation and a face to face communication are not possible? Medi knew that there are opinions that deny mediation in this case.

To settle down and just start talking without a plan was not her style. This has Medi learned from a tolerable experience long before. She has learned that mediation is a handcraft where a plannable conversation should be prepared accordingly.

Medi has already touched her right nostril three times. That was the agreed sign of a break in co-mediation. It did not work somehow. Ator did not pay attention to her, but only to the mediand, who saw her playing with her nose. We must agree another sign for indicating a break. That became clear to Medi now.

Ator, who always wins pragmatism, did not seem to recognize the problems. Probably that’s why he butted in courageously before Medi could say anything. He remembered a technique he once learned. The technique is to first summarize what has happened so far and not think about why it happened or what to do next. So he said, “I’ll summarize what I’ve noticed so far without thinking about why it happened or what should happen next. Is that OK?”. Without waiting for the answer to his rhetorical question, he summarized what happened:

“Balthazar has asked for that appointment. He already pointed out that it is difficult to get you all together at the same time. His assumption was inaccurate because you all arrived. It is correct because you are not actually sitting at the table. I do not know where Caspar and Balthazar are now. What is striking, however, is that as soon as one of you appears, the others are gone – without saying goodbye and without leaving a word or giving a hint”. Melchior looked at him and said, “Yes, I’m not surprised. Can I go to the toilet?”. “Yeah, sure”, Ator replied, without dissolving the eradication. He showed Balthazar the way.

Ator and Medi looked at each other dumbfounded. Medi reported on her conflict map. “Yes, the triangle sounds good”, Ator praised her. “However, I see no victim, no perpetrator and no savior. I see a youth a grown man and an old man”. “Maybe they’re always swapping their roles?”, Medi guessed. “Who actually pays the bill in a generational conflict?”, she added the problems. Ator had no time to respond to the exciting question. The door opened and Balthazar seemed to be. “Aha”, he said, “Melchior is already here. Now there are at least three cups on one and the same table. That’s a start”.

Balthazar also began to complain unsolicited. Is everyone talking when he wants to? Medi wondered. There are still a lot of questions to be answered. Her curiosity, however, demanded restraint. So she let Balthazar talk, even if it was the wrong phase of mediation. “It always works”, Balthazar said. “Caspar triggers memories of what I did wrong. Melchior confronts me with my unfulfillable wishes. If I were not, we would move beyond reality”. Although they were not in phase three yet, Medi ventured the crucial loop:

“It seems to me that you speak of Caspar as a symbol of unwanted memories and of Melchior as if he were the incarnation of their unfulfilled desires. Can you say that? “Medi asked. … (4-minute thinking pause) … “Yes through-out”, said Balthazar after careful consideration. Medi continued: “That sounds like an un-happy relationship. … (pause for thinking) … You avoid confrontation simply by not meeting each other. Is this correct?”. Also this observation affirmed Balthazar. Medi paused once more before she asked: “What by the way is your relationship between You, Caspar and Melchior?” Balthazar thought very, very long time. There is absolute silence in the mediation room. Only the clock can be heard: tick, tack, tick, tock, tick, tock, tick …. After a felt infinity and exactly seven minutes that are not expected to be rewarded, he finally said: “Caspar is my youth and Melchior is my age”. That was the crucial sentence.

“And you are from the Morning Land on the way to the Evening Land”, Ator interposed, as if he had just gained a personal insight that had to be expressed necessarily. The fact that he could destroy the flow of mediation with his spontaneous remark did not occur to him. But he got lucky. Balthazar did not feel provoked. He replied quite objectively: “No, our destination is definitely the Morning Land, where the day begins and where it began at the same time.”

“Where the day begins and where it began“, repeated Medi, as if she had to let the words melt on her tongue. She was able to use the technique of repetition purposefully and effectively. Medi counted in her mind 20, 21, 22, 23, to continue only after the resulting pause for thinking: “This is future and past at the same time … (pause for thinking to settle the insight) … Can one say that?”. For a while, nobody said anything. Ator also held back. There was a crackling tension in the room. Thoughts met insights. Everything came together at this moment: early, late, old, young, good, evil, light, dark, domestic, foreign, man, woman, yes, no, morning, evening, the one and the other … All that came Medi to mind. She could feel it. And she knew that everything comes together in mediation.

“I’ve never seen it like that before,” Balthazar said. “If Caspar is yesterday, the morning you come from and Melchior is tomorrow, the morning you go to, where do you have to meet, so that yesterday and tomorrow come together? … (deliberate pause for thinking) … Do you have any idea where that is? “, Medi continued.

Balthazar began to understand, that this must be the presence, the moment to be.

At that moment, the three tea cups merged into a bowl filled to the top. It became clear that the astrologers were observing the stars at different times, leading to different directions. The decisive factor for the conflict resolution was finally the realization that the three magicians, as the holy three kings are also called, were one and the same person, having different perspecitves. It was a person in which not only the three ages come together, but also have to be harmonized. We see a single person who needs to find a balance.

When Balthazar left, Ator said, “Wow, that was again an impressive and, above all, a successful mediation!”. Medi disagreed. “Has Balthazar paid any?”, she asked. Ator stammered something that sounded like: “He’ll be back”. Hope dies last. “I hope you realize that this was not mediation”, said Medi to Ator’s astonishment. “Why?”, he asked. “The case is solved yet”. “The German mediation law expects a social conflict with different people to be an interpersonal conflict not an internal, intrapersonal conflict concerning the life crises of a single person”, Medi said. “The mediation law does not apply in the Morning Land”, Ator countered with a wink. “Anyway, our rate of increase is now not 100, but 150%!”, Ator claimed, to underline his initial optimism. “That’s 19,075 mediations in 10 years!”, he affirmed. “Imagine how the growth rate multiplies with just one more mediation. What do we learn? … (thoughtfull pause, not waiting the asnwer) …Who gives up loses”.

„It is the question of who is losing what. But yes, it’s all on the way”, said Medi.

“On the way to the Morning Land”, Ator added with a wink. Medi did not know exactly what he meant by that. She had several hypotheses, so she did not think about it.

“How about we enjoy the Land of Today first?”, suggested Medi. “How important the moment of Today is was what I learned from talking with the magicians, astrologes or kings, or whatever they are. Today is the reconciliation of yesterday and tomorrow. The moment is where it will be gathered and mediation is dancing with the moment. I had not been able to see it that way before. The realization should be my reward”. Medi was once again satisfied with the world. And when Medi is satisfied, Ator has no choice but to be satisfied as well. Who else should he rub against instead? Yes, the two just are Medi & Ator.

“I wish you a merry, happy Christmas, with memories you can select that will make you happy and with wishes you can choose to be useful”. “That really sounds like mediation”, Ator replied. “I also wish you a Merry Christmas, that’s my heartfelt wish”.

P.S .: Balthazar actually came back to several individual interviews. The two mediators could then finally settle their reward. Balthazar regained his inner peace. He found his balance in the contradictions of life which he learned to manage by thinking like a mediator.

Arthur Trossen

About Medi & Ator

Professionals have noticed it long ago. Medi & Ator addresses questions that every mediator has to deal with in a mediation. Are they doing everything correctly? Every case help them to learn a little bit more about the insights that mediation or mediators have to deal with.

Medi & Ator were first invited to Christmas 2012 by Arthur Trossen, who not only invented these stories as stimulating training material, but also as a reflection of what and how he perceives the mediation landscape. The stories should be a gift to the members of the Association Integrated Mediation. Maybe they also are a gift to the mediation itself and to friends who like to improve mediation.

The background: Medi & Ator are together one mediator. Just lack the &, then they come together. As two persons they can visualise their thoughts und reflections. Medi & Ator prevent to be professional and practising mediators. In order to improve demand, they invited the Christmas Mediation. Of course they have trainings, standards and all what is needed to specify their branch. Since they haveseveral roles as servants, trainers and fuctioneers, they allow to perceipt as many views on the mediation landscape.

Medi & Ator have long penetrated into the hearts of readers. There have been many letters of encouragement to continue the story, and even to bring the stories together in a novel. Despite that and because Medi & Ator enjoy sharing their experiences, they continue to tell single episodes of their doings, which appear as a reviw on the year that has passed. This year the mediators of passion are reporting on their seventh adventure as Christmas mediators.

This is the English Version of the story. It is a translation from German, where some idioms and words are not to be translated one to one. The German textures also are filled with footnotes, leading to books on the largest portal about mediation,, which at the moment unfortunately is only available in German language. For that reason the English edition is missing footnotes.

Also new is the ability to download this story as a PDF from the website. You are expressly entitled to the unchanged distribution of the file or to link to a copyright notice of the author. The previous stories with Medi & Ator can be found on the website of the Association of Integrated Mediation.

The link you’ll find on

Enjoy the story and share experiece.
You are welcome