Monday, December 12, 2016

Relationship and Peacebuilding

Throughout my career of being an adviser for conflict management, I have always had a strong focus on the need for rebuilding individual communities that make up a country. In truth the focus has been on the individual, yet wisdom is very accurate in that it is easier to lead the masses than to lead a single person. Of late, there has been a great deal of research articles being published on this area of peacebuilding. From what I can gather from the readings is that there is a change of words/ideas taking place. The change is viewing peacebuilding as relationship building. Usually I do not pay attention to what I would see as semantics. However I let this one roll around my brain for a while. Building relationships and peace have a great deal in common. More to the point, you have to understand the relationships between as many participants as possible in order to build peace. This understanding can be very complex as we deal with organizations that are very large. To make a point here, just think of how you view your relationship with government or any corporation. Now, project that unto the field of the community you live in. What is similar, what is different? One question that is always present in peacebuilding is where to start the process. It seems logical to start with the groups who are fighting. What happens when you find out the neither side is willing to talk or even stop fighting? If that is the case how are you ever going to focus on communities when you can not reach them? Think of a family where the two parents are really having a major break down and the children are being used as vehicles to spread hate and revenge. How does anyone stop that insane situation? Everyone can understand this scenario even in a relatively peaceful place. This scenario is very similar to what is taking place in Syria. Commonalities of relationship and peacebuilding is the need to prevent further harm. The ultimate reason for intervening in wars is to save people and future generations from the savagery of war. Although we know why we do it, how to best accomplish peace and build relationships is being argued right now in Syria and with the family that is breaking up. From the grand scale of Syria to the individual scale of the family, the tactics to bring peace are the same as are the challenges. Some people do not even want to get involved and that has to be recognized as a factor in building relationships and peace. It is always interesting to implement the theories being discussed. Seeing as we have not built the perfectly peaceful environment yet, we have a few more experiments to test out. I wish everyone the best success possible in their experiments to find peace.

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