Having lived in many areas of chaos, I am positive that most people are peaceful. In turn, the larger part of society, is peaceful as well. It is quite an odd situation while being a guest in a stranger’s home in a war zone. The subject of the war is obviously discussed. The reality soon hits you that most people have a strong understanding of peace. However, you can hear the war rage on outside. Then the question comes; how did this all get so ugly?
From that question alone the war will begin as the people recall the injustices set upon them. This is called “stacking bodies”, the part where people begin to list all the injuries they have incurred. Engaging in this activity is the method to prove how one side is the enemy. Such tactics are rarely helpful in resolving a conflict. Continually pointing out the injustices keeps you rooted in the mindset of revenge and being treated unfairly. To get to the point of resolving any conflict you have to be able to do two things.
First you have to truly understand your part through accepting the others view point. You do not have to agree with their view point but there is no way you can change that view point. Second you have to see past the committed injustices. Again, you do not have to forget about the injustices but you do have to be able to accept that nothing can change those events. Both of these items are simple yet they are difficult to enact.
Often we see these two items as a large part of being weak or giving in. These views are a hindrance for most peace workers as it takes more strength, effort, intelligence and will power to engage in such a manner than it does to kill. However there are times when killing is the only option, unless you want to die yourself. World War Two, stopping Hitler stands as one example when killing was the only option.
Getting back to the methods needed for resolving conflict, the best tools we have is the ability to learn, educate and adapt. We must have the capacity to understand that each and every one of us has a desire to improve upon themselves. As we go about our lives we see others and we notice how others live. In turn we see the parts of our own selves in these people that we wish we had. We see in others the qualities that we know and want to improve upon. If that person is in your daily life, the change that you wish to improve upon will become an irritant and you will develop a dislike for that person. This is a popular theory of Carl Jung and it holds a great amount of truth. This is on an individual level, not so sure it holds true on a societal level. However the methods of dealing with conflict are transferable from individual to society and into international relations.
With the case of Syria, the government has given a great deal of attention to killing and very little to discussion. We can be assured that the methods of killing will continue. The Arab Council tried to force the discussion method by sending in Observers, that failed. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is again looking at intervention. Economic Sanctions, strongly worded resolutions and a litany of press releases will most likely be the result if the UNSC takes action. All the while the government will continue to crush its own people, at a slower pace perhaps. The killing will continue until morale improves in Syria. It will continue at a pace slow enough for the appearance of peace and discussion. Which brings in the world of optics, spin and bullshit.
All because some people do not have the strength to resolve matters peacefully.