November 3, 2010

After the recent elections, I find myself pondering conflict resolution and perceptions. I love politics. I always have.
Some have accused me of being addicted to conflict. Maybe they were right. I’m not proud of that. I like being right.

Having children has affected my willingness to expend energy in this arena. I have to feel my energy will be useful, and not wasted. I stop and listen more knowing that this is the first step in people listening to me. I think I am learning.

I overheard this conversation when my eldest daughter was four. She was in a car seat in the back of the car with her friend, Jack. I learned a lot from this conversation…

“God is really, really big!” -Jack
“No, he isn’t” -Elise
“What? God is enormous!” -Jack
“Nope, he is regular size, like a Grandad.” -Elise
“Nuh Ahh, no way, he’s not. He is just like a person.” -Elise
“When you die and get to Heaven, you’ll say, you WILL say- JACK WAS RIGHT!” – Jack

The thing is, we are all Jack. We all believe we are right. We can educate ourselves all we wish and some of us may even change our views every now and then, but mostly we go on silently thinking, “When you die, you’ll see (insert your name here) was right!”.

Most arguments, although fun sometimes, are usually in vain. Figuring out how to get along when we have such varying opinions is bigger, more important issue than the actual disagreement. If we aren’t willing to openly listen to another point of view, no one will be willing to do the same to us, and conflict will always follow.

And if you don’t believe me, just wait, when you die,  you’ll see…


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