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Naivete

I was so proud of you,
as you stood in your cap and gown.
A college graduate at age 50,
you overcame so much to walk that stage.
Teen pregnancy
Drugs
Alcohol
Abuse
Lies
Hatred
Hostility
Insecurity
and Pain
each accepted their degrees before you
and seemed to disappear into the crowd.

The class of 2017 commenced what we thought were new lives.

I trusted you,
as I had many times before.
Trained to see beneath the surface,
I looked past the verbal jabs and controlled conversations.
Control
Greed
Power
Opportunity
Self-Absorption
Competition
Reframed Lies
and Strategic Warfare took their seats on the Board of Directors,
proud graduates thinking this is success.

Your accomplishments only made you a more skilled and educated opponent.

Yet in a game of no winners that I now refuse to play.

Nance L. Schick, Esq. is an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator based in New York City. She is the founder of The Law Studio of Nance L. Schick, where we create resolution. Her holistic, integrative approach draws from her experience as a human resources supervisor, as well as her legal, ADR, EEOC, FINRA, and ICERM training. She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Finalist, Best for NYC 2015 & 2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (Finalist, 2013 Pitch Competition). She currently serves as the Main ICERM Representative to the United Nations.