Barry Simon is a mediator, investment consultant professional, and founder/host of conversationsforpeace.com from Portland, Oregon. He also serves as the President of the United Nations Association of the USA for the Southern California Division. His diverse experiences and expertise are motivated by “the possibility of a world that works for everyone and everything with no one and no thing left behind.”
Simon believes that mediation is a channel and opportunity for change. He stated, “I find that mediation can save people a whole lot of time and money and can resolve issues quickly.” Furthermore, he said, “similarly, facilitating conversations that have given my life a new worldview often results in a better understanding between all parties involved, and a transformed view that most likely would not happen on its own.” His involvement with Rotary International and Mediators Beyond Borders International has enabled him to pursue this path. His services as a mediator/facilitator are provided without charge.
As a mediator, he has facilitated Barry Wayne’s Venting Events, Acknowledgment PLUS workshops, Speakout America Initiatives, and Conversations for Peace projects. He has also served others as a life coach at Landmark Worldwide, making him an asset to the larger MBBI network. For Simon, people should feel heard, especially if their perspectives or opinions differ, which all his projects have highlighted.
Letting Go of Your Ego
He stated, “think about when someone points towards you. If you look closer, you will realize that three fingers are pointing back at them. This perspective from all points of view is necessary. In that process, one must also learn to let go of one’s ego. However, one must recognize the difference between one’s ego and machinery. There is you, your ego and your machinery. Your machinery is symbolic of how you tend to be in life, which is often inherited and shaped by the decisions you make as a 3-5-year-old. However, being human comes with machinery; it is about learning how to interact with all these parts to reach your larger goals.”
Engaging In Meaningful Exchanges
He put these teachings into practice through his project on peace conversations. As Simon was growing up, the headlines he often saw covered the multidimensional conflicts worldwide, including the strikes in the Middle East. Years later, nothing has substantially changed. There is still conflict but not enough dialogue and conversation. Therefore, Conversations for Peace, among other projects, is a platform to engage in meaningful exchanges. Currently, there are 13 episodes on the web between 10-15 minutes each. He stated, “everybody talks about win-win situations, but naturally, there is a winner and loser. This project is on giving people a voice and a channel to be understood and appreciated.“ He is currently seeking sponsors/funding to expand the “Conversations for Peace” project. He is also working on a west coast climate crisis event coming up on October 1st of 2021.
Simon’s perspective on mediation has transcended the screen. For him, the pandemic has been a way to connect with “my clients and reconnect with others while developing new relationships.“ In closing, he stated, “My work and landmark have kept me young and inspired. Wherever you are, if it is in the middle of Manhattan or in the capital of South Africa, the concerns are similar – leaving room for action and dialogue.”
Article by Elizabeth Gamarra, MBBI Writer