Monday, January 30, 2012

Need more options

Most people would say that they are good at dealing with difficulties in life. It has been my experience that most people are very poor at dealing with difficulties. I am not saying that people will not get through difficulties because they do. What I am saying is that people could get through difficulties with a great more skill and ease if they spent the time to learn how.
The last article I wrote concerning transformative peace points to the poor record of the court system to deal with societal difficulties. Due to this poor performance, the larger society is left with unresolved issues. Yet the law system is a foundational part of dealing with wrongs in society. It has come to the point where people often go to lawyers at the first sign of trouble.Because of that we have a large profession believing it is doing a great job of managing the wrongs of society. 
What is often missed in the reasoning for why we have a court system, is the fact that we have only had these court systems for short periods of time. In the times before the courts, human relationships existed and dealt with all the same issues we have today. Before the court systems we had many forms of "ceremonies" to deal with community issues.  I suggest everyone to read, "The Human Potential for Peace: An Anthropological challenge to assumptions about war and violence" written by Douglas P. Fry. Oxford University Press 2006. 
Now, I can hear the opposition speaking about the barbaric treatment of people, which the court systems are there to end. Well I will conceded that there were such acts before courts existed, yet the court system still has its share of barbaric acts. Just ask some of the people that went through Guantanamo Bay jail, or visit the jails in Uganda, Sierra Leone, you can even look at the number of mentally ill people executed in the RUSA.  All of these systems employ similar styles of dealing with people that are deemed a hazard to society.
As we build societies that have been destroyed, often there are programs such as Truth and Reconciliation Commissions. These programs are used only for a short period of time and then abandoned. It is a wonder why such a useful element of healing is not continued to assist with other issues in society.
Having one method of managing difficulties is best described with a popular saying;
When the only tool you have is a hammer every problem is seen as a nail.
Dealing with issues within our lives, we need as many ways as possible to address them. In a caring society we would offer such support. We allow for the healing process to take hold as people sort out what the deep issues are. At the moment we can look at Egypt and Syria as examples where the people were given small moments of reprieve only to be thrust back to a point similar to the one where it all started. The entire process has to be re-engaged. Instead of listening, learning, accepting and adapting, one side dug in with a firm stance of “this is the only system we have, if you do not like it – die”
A caring leader would see the futility in such a narrow view. For humanity sake we must give options. We must also see the need for order and at times people do get caught up in emotions. I can not think of any country that has not had protesters marching in large numbers. Such events are fraught with emotion and chaos is always near. However if many methods of managing the protesters are employed the greater the chances of the protest being a peaceful one overall.
When something really matters to you, you will be hurt because you care. Your heart will get hurt but the fact that you care should allow you to realize the need for peace, options, patience and understanding. People protest, march, yell and scream because it is all part of letting off the pressure of emotions. Protesting  lets the world know they care. All that is needed in return is the intelligence to listen, learn, understand and adapt.

No comments:

Post a Comment