Saturday, May 19, 2012

Getting through chaotic moments

Everyone experiences the confusion, frustration and chaos which conflict can bring. Everyone can learn how to move through those moments of chaos with calm resolve as well. There are a number of components to chaos that you need to be aware of in order to move through such situations. As you read these you will most likely know them. The difficult part is applying your knowledge. You must apply it as often as you in order to excel at getting through those chaotic moments.
Emotions and communication are the two factors that are often the most poorly managed. Case in point is the situation in Syria. At first the people protested against the government. During these protest emotions of panic set in, non-violent communication was lost and bullets were fired. This same situation continues to this day. That is a very simple breakdown but in reality that is exactly what transpired.
To get through the chaos you need to be able to keep things as simple as possible. The complications will work themselves out. Breaking the situation in small goals is the best plan. For example in Syria the small goal was a ceasefire agreement. Neither side adhered to that which brings the entire situation back to chaos and even further distrust. However the ceasefire agreement is crucial and must be implemented. What we are faced with is how a ceasefire agreement is to be implemented.
The average person in Syria most likely wants an end to the violence. As usual the ones that seek to destabilize a society are in the minority. The question now becomes, how do you reach a peaceful resolution when both sides are locked on destroying each other? This question is a very difficult situation.
The common element in poor conflict resolution rest with the people involved. With the case of Syria there has to be a different set of voices now. The current voices are distrusted and have too much history attached. In order for a peaceful environment to take root there needs to be new leadership. The issue will always be the same but the people need to change.
Whether or not the people can transcend the history is the main obstacle. For example we can look at the Palestine/Israel wars. These people have carried the history, violence, revenge, hatred and distrust for generations. The face of the war has become ambiguous, inhumane and demonized. There have been small breakthroughs with the Israel/Palestine war, 1994 was one. Since then there has been stalemates and regression. The people are in dire need of new visions, leadership and voice.
To transcend conflict, an open mind is crucial. New perspectives and a willingness to focus on the future is vital as well. All too often relationships get mired in what I call “stacking bodies”. This is when people bring up past wrongs as they race to stack up the most injustices incurred. This tactic is very common yet rarely works to resolve a conflict, (I have never experienced this tactic working).
Getting past stacking bodies is a challenge that must be overcome. If history is not let go of, the conflict will only spiral into further frustration.  The emotional attachment to those past injustices will gain more moments to fuel the anger. To get past this tactic takes a certain amount of resolve and hard work. Focusing on the immediate situation will help. The moment you start to talk about the context or situations that began the chaos you have started stacking bodies.  This is where the hard work is most needed.
Emotions and attachments need to be managed so that a peaceful solution can be found. Doing so is made more difficult when the other side will not or is not able to do the same. However someone has to have the intelligence and the willingness to let go of old tactics.

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