Humans have a profound ability to engage in deeply protracted conflict that wounds us psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and physically. From terrorism to capitalism and numerous “isms” in between, humans have created systems that wound at an individual and collective level. We are far more adept at spreading widespread conflict than we are at cultivating widespread peace. Why are we so much better at harming others and ourselves? What must we do to become equally adept at loving others and ourselves? These are the questions in which this paper will seek to provide answers.
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Conflict is normal and occurs in every aspect of our lives, yet it is especially prevalent in the workplace. In fact, a study commissioned by CPP, Inc. in partnership with OPP, Ltd. found that 85 percent of the study’s participants reported experiencing conflict in the workplace at “some level” and 29 percent reported experiencing conflict in the workplace “almost constantly.”
Last Saturday I attended the St. Louis Blues / Dallas Stars game. It was an exciting game that had the fans of both teams on the edge of their seats. At one point during the game, a St. Louis Blues player lost control of his hockey stick, and it was projected out of the rink. Unlike a fly baseball which is typically caught only by one person, the hockey stick, given its size, was caught by several people. An intense three-person round of tug-of-war ensued.
Several weekends ago I headed to the airport with a friend for a much anticipated weekend getaway to Montreal. Neither of us had been to Canada, and we both were looking forward to a weekend filled with adventure. Little did we know our adventure would begin at the airport.
Humanity is at a turning point in history. Never before has so much been possible and never before has so much been at stake. Humans are more powerful and more vulnerable than at any point in history. When it comes to creating a more sustainable and peaceful future, there is an unspoken challenge that should be running through the minds of every individual: If not me, then who? If not now, then when?
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