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Feb 07th
Home Columns Op-Ed Page The Kissinger Approach and The Barber’s Way
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Written by Benjamin G. Maynigo   
Saturday, 20 March 2010 08:20



By Benjamin G. Maynigo


The Kissinger Approach and The Barber’s Way


I read the news that former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was just recently hospitalized for stomach pains. The 86-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner was known for introducing Shuttle Diplomacy in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in the ‘70s.


Learning it in my early professional and entrepreneurial life, I described to my barber the Kissinger approach to negotiations this way:


Kissinger saw his good-looking and smart nephew while traveling to Israel. He noticed that the latter was still single and carefree. He told his nephew, “why don’t you get married and live a more responsible life?” His nephew responded, why should I? I am enjoying my bachelorhood, no married plans right now.” Then Kissinger immediately retorted, “Not even if the bride is the beautiful daughter of  Rothschild, one of the richest men in Europe?” Then the nephew said, “Well, in that case . . .”


Kissinger shuttled to London and met with the head of the Rothschild family, a European dynasty of German-Jewish descent, and his daughter. He asked why his daughter remains unmarried, and the answer was that the daughter liked her status and was still looking for the right man. So, Kissinger said, “What about marrying the good-looking and smart President of the Israeli National Bank?” Rothschild then said, “Well, in that case . . .”


Kissinger went back to Israel and talked to the chairman and majority owner of the Israeli National Bank. “Why don’t you make my nephew the President of Israeli National Bank?” The chairman answered, “Why should I? Your nephew is too young and inexperienced running a bank like ours.” Then Kissinger replied, “But he is going to be the son-in-law of England’s richest man, Rothschild.” The chairman proclaimed, “I will convene the Board to confirm the appointment.”


U pon hearing this story, my barber commented, “The Kissinger approach is not really original. Do you know how I started this barbershop in the heart of McLean – where the Kennedys, the Cheneys, the Quayles, Pat Buchanan, Colin Powell, the Brzezinskis and other powerful people live?” I said, “No.” Then he proceeded,


“Being a barber in the Philippines, I wanted to practice my expertise in the United States. I had no capital so I approached a rich Filipino doctor whose hair I was cutting at home. “Why should I invest?” he asked. “I told him that it would be profitable, to be located in McLean, and the rent is already taken care of.” He okayed.


Then, I went to the owner of the building which was vacant at the time and offered a partnership together with the rich Filipino doctor also known to him. “Why should I do that?” “Because in your building will be the first all beautiful, an all-woman barbershop in Metro D.C. where men and their boys would rather go,” I said. He agreed.


Then I went around hair cutteries and Vietnamese-run barbershops recruiting attractive female barbers. The common question, “Why should I?” The common answer, “It would be in McLean and would be the only all-female barbershop.” They all joined.


As you can see, it was not really all women. My barber is a man and so is the doctor and landlord. The barbershop is still on-going. So are the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and my barber does not foresee any conclusion anytime soon.


Yet the Kissinger Approach is somewhat like the Barber’s Way. # # #


E ditor's Notes: The author is a Washington, DC-based International and Cyber Lawyer with an LL.B and LL.M; an Educator with an M.A. in Human Resource Development; An IT Chief Executive Officer with M.B.A.; Community and Trade Association Leader; Lecturer/Speaker/Writer; Political Strategist; and Technology Pioneer.


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Last Updated on Saturday, 20 March 2010 08:28

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