Peter A Goldsbury
The responses were interesting: the Chinese: "Know your enemy"; the Americans: "Enter a courtship and always end in a win-win situation"; the Japanese: "See which way the wind is blowing before making any commitment."...
...and apologies in advance for any thread drift.
If you are going to provide such an interesting post, please don't apologize! :-)
I agree that there is a peculiarly American optimism inherent in the faith that "win/win" is alway acheivable (or as a friend of mine bitingly puts it, "Let's all be palsy-walsy") but I also think that in neighborhood disputes its not bad to aim for raprochment in which continuing to get along is possible (assuming we aren't talking about drug dealing, theft, etc....).
Let's note that the offending neighbor was NOT taken off the hook in terms of the time and money dealing with the towed car, which to me meant that not only were things de-escalated but ultimate responsibility for the offending action remained on the culpable party.