A story is told of a castle dating back to medieval times. This castle, while not particularly interesting in structure, has a unique history. The uniqueness of this castle is that the same family retained title to the castle for several hundred years.
Credit for this feat was given to the fact that the family married intelligently, made good business decisions, and due to the fact that the family for centuries believed in working out their difficulties. The place to work out their problems was in one particular room in the castle. Adorning the wall on one side of the room was a rendition of a court jester and on the other side was a beautiful carved rose. There was great significance in these two symbols for anyone gathered in that room to “duke it out” or “work out” problems or issues.
In days of old, Court Jesters were permitted to say anything to the king without repercussion. While others in the court always held their tongues in front of the king, never wanting to confront or upset, the Court Jester was generally free to speak whatever he thought or felt.
A Rose is a symbol of “silence.” It reminded everyone that the conversations held in that room were private and not to leave the room.
By displaying these two symbols, the owners of the castle were subtly reminding everyone that they were free to speak their minds when meeting in this room to discuss the pertinent issues of the day, without repercussion, but the rose reminded them that whatever was said in that room, stayed in that room.
How would we function in a meeting with family members or the boss or the board if we knew we could speak our mind, as the court jester was allowed to do, but know that what said in that room would not leave that room.
Freedom to speak our mind (best done with grace and love) and respect to keep the discussion private.
A good motto for us as we work out issues in our families and our family business.
“The more we run from conflict, the more it masters us; the more we try to avoid it, the more it controls us; the less we fear conflict, the less it confuses us; the less we deny our differences, the less they divide us.”
David Augsburger, Professor