No matter the situation of conflict I deal with or study there is always the same question, Why do people act in such ways? Having almost twenty years of experience in conflict resolution and peace the answer to why is always being sought for.
Each person has a unique view of the world because no one else can see the world as they do. For a society to remain peaceful there has to be a common vision. This vision is a constant struggle. Even in a personal relationship, such as a married couple a common vision is needed. This vision can not be faked or manipulated either. If such a situation arises where there is no common vision, tension and frustration will grow.
The tension and frustration of a loss of common vision is clearly seen in every conflict. Even in a peaceful country the struggle for a common vision is fought for during elections. The very reason for an election is to decide which vision the people best agree with. At the moment there are a number of countries that have to discuss how to decide to make choices of visions. Libya and Egypt are two that have been rebuilding society, constitutions and rules of process. Greece is another country that has a major discussion of how to proceed. In truth the entire world has an ongoing discussion of how and where to proceed.
Even though each one has to make their own decision there will always be outside influences. These influences often provide information and/or propaganda. Today the amount of information has been increasing rapidly. This change has given us more information than ever before. What has not changed is the reality.
The conflicts we have are similar to conflicts that have taken place thousands of years ago. Even though we have been developing in many ways, we have not progressed too far in our methods of resolving conflict. What is our common vision for dealing with conflicts?
Everyone I discuss this topic with wishes to see a peaceful method. As the discussion progresses there are situations where violence is a difficult choice not to take. These situations are similar to what is going on in Syria or if there is gang violence in your neighbourhood. This is where the mind gets tormented.
Violence is ever present, however if you have the confidence and intelligence to abate violence it can be done. I know it is possible because I have been in such situations and have ensured the safety of others without one moment of harmful violence.