Conflict is inevitable, especially if you care enough to push for change. Common reactions to conflict are to avoid it entirely, deny it or fight it.
Governments and other democracies tend to find it easier, and quicker to just attack and destroy the opponent, rather than try and work it out. It’s more efficient in the short term. This is how wars are started.
If your solution to conflict entails someone else’s loss, you’ve fallen short of a potentially extraordinary conclusion.
Alternatively, there is a peaceful path. This path requires a response of listening objectively, problem solving, self control, resilience and commitment to a peaceful and mutually beneficial outcome.
Most importantly, this journey requires a great deal of patience. I’ve found that with liberal amounts of patience, almost anything is possible.
Violence begets violence. We’ve seen this all throughout history. Conversely, I believe patience begets peace. Peace is a product of patience.
When a country wants to stop atrocities or gain access to resources in another country, the tendency is to just go in with force. Why? It’s easier, quicker, and in the short term it serves the stronger country best. However, it almost never lasts and there is always bloodshed. They justify it by calling it “collateral damage”.
People often confuse patience and kindness with weakness. But which of the options I’ve just outlined reflects the most strength? Exhibiting patience and working diligently to find a mutually beneficial solution, or quickly resorting to violently taking what you want? To me, the later seems weak. Anyone can do that.
It would do us well, as an international society, to channel more energy and resources towards fostering more patience. However, with boom of technology, we are heading largely in the opposite direction. We’re a microwave society. We want it all and we want it now. No time to try and figure out a peaceful solution.
This dynamic is very narcissistic and negates all of the wisdom obtained through the journey that patience affords us. No patience, no wisdom.
Peace isn’t something we can force. It’s a process. And it only comes from the journey of discovery and relationship we experience while patiently working toward peace.
If you’re goal is a peaceful outcome, patience is likely the most essential aspect of the process.