No One Gets Any Ice-cream

July 29, 2011

These types of posts often start out with “I was talking with a friend”. Sooner or later I’ll stop saying that. :-) So, a story came up in our conversation about my childhood to illustrate an idea. The story first, and then the idea.

I have one sister and one brother. There were times where we’d be getting an after dinner treat. Not to say this didn’t happen other times, but I remember it with spumoni (vanilla, chocolate, cherry) ice-cream. All three of us kids would be arguing about who gets what. Sooner or later my mother would say “fine, none of you get any ice-cream”. Then, at first, we’d start arguing who started it all; basically who to blame for not getting any ice-cream. From that, and here is the point, my mother would say “it doesn’t matter who started it, no one is getting ice-cream”. Certainly not always those words, or that dessert, but that pattern.

So what is the point, or the lesson we learned? Different people might read it differently, but I think we interpreted it as saying that differences of opinion and contrary goals are okay; but what is important is working things out in a fair, balanced and mutually respectful and satisfying way. That we should look at things not just so the “I” wins (or “we” in a group). But that we look at the situation as what is best for all of us kids. And find a solution together that works for all of us.

Otherwise we will all lose out and no one gets any ice-cream.