Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking
When I think of the term conflict, it would be a disagreement between individuals or even members of a community, group or country. While some conflicts can be over trivial things, others can lead to possible wars, riots and even violence. Being in a society where every individual is entitled to their own opinions and moral values, conflicts can arise very easily. As we are constantly interacting with others through society, it can cause conflicts to happen every day. Even at home, I am sure we face conflicts with our families on so many levels. Whether it be spouses arguing over silly things like keeping up with household chores, or siblings fighting over balance of power, conflicts can cause strife even in the strongest of families and communities. It is up to each individual to put in the effort of keep a sense of peace and tranquility and avoid further escalation of conflicts. Sadly, it does not always happen as we have seen in situations like wars between countries or arguments at home or even at work. Conflict happens every day, in some way. We may think that our society is so advanced and superior and can overcome any conflict or difference of opinion, but the fact remains that we have to have the right mindset and skills to attain conflict resolution and peacemaking in a refined manner. Without these skills, it would prove to be rather difficult to avoid or end conflicts that would keep all parties content and free from further discord. Situations that can bring out conflict are issues like abortion, politics, gun control, gay marriage or human rights in general. Our textbook mentions that when dealing with conflict we have to put our personal feelings aside and not just focus on what we think the other parties are hoping to gain. Myers states “Recall that conflict is a perceived incompatibility of actions or goals. Many conflicts contain but a small core of truly incompatible goals; the bigger problem is the misperceptions of the other’s motives and goals”. When we deal with conflict resolution and peacemaking, we have to keep in mind that each party has to keep an open mind and also be open to compromise. Communication is a big part of conflict resolution and peacemaking. When you have great communication skills, it is easier to deal with conflict. With good communication, you may be able to get both parties involved in the conflict to work towards a way to resolve the issue that is causing the conflict in the first place. By having both parties willing to have an open mind and set their personal feelings aside, it can help bring down walls that are causing the issues and open up options that normally would have never been avoided. I read an article called “Peacekeepers Turned Peacemakers: Police as Mediators” by Meyer, Paul and Grant which examines how police officers are in a position that they are capable to deliver conflict resolution as a function of their job. According to the article, many of these officers felt that their job mostly entails those arresting criminals, not getting involved in personal affairs of families. Therefore, unless an actual crime was committed, they didn’t want to interfere. In my opinion, when I think of what a police officer is supposed to do in his every day duty, the motto of “ to protect and to serve” makes me think that their duty is to look out for the citizens and do whatever it necessary to keep us safe. Sadly, many of these officers felt that they were being restricted by possibly losing their jobs, if they crossed the line and get too involved in a situation that could later bring up charges against them. It reminds me of the Rodney King beating that occurred in 1992. While we may never know for sure what happened that night, it looked like racial profiling and our media just made that situation spiral out of control even worse by showing more and more footage daily. The riots in Los Angeles...
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