In the living room of a friend’s house on the 4th of July, our wide ranging story-telling drifted into stories of conflict, especially times when we had turned adversaries into friends. One of us mentioned Getting to Yes, and we agreed it was the bible on how to embrace conflict and make friends. None of us, however, could remember the author (still more dramatic evidence of brain deterioration).
Then we heard “Roger Fisher,” in a small voice coming from somewhere behind us. Turning we saw that it was the voice of eight-year-old Alexandra who was sitting on the carpet in front of an iPad. All three adult jaws dropped. She just smiled a proud smile and said again, “Roger Fisher. Roger Fisher wrote Getting to Yes.”
It’s a different world from the one I grew up in. In the ‘70’s we eliminated the generation gap. In the first decade of the 21st Century children showed that there are things they can do better than adults. In the next fifteen years, adults who don’t accurately identify our value to children beyond the obvious cook, chauffeur and hotel clerk will find ourselves obsolete in the home and a hindrance at school.