Unfortunately, disputes between neighbors, between a business and a customer, between a merchant and a supplier, between a homeowner and a home-improvement contractor, etc., are common occurrences today. In prior times, the parties often were able to work out these matters reasonably and privately. In today's fast-paced, largely "anonymous" culture, however, that happens less frequently. Instead of reacting, in knee-jerk fashion, to another common phenomenon – race to court and sue – many people find satisfactory resolutions of these disputes with the help of a neutral mediator. They find mediation's comparatively low expense, short timeframe, and mutually agreeable results that foster a civil continuing relationship where appropriate, to be distinct advantages over a contentious lawsuit.