Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

War: easier than peace. The cost: health, prosperity

Think about it.

1. The key to peace and healthy interaction with anyone in any situation is relationship skills.

By that I mean the ability to communicate, negotiate, conciliate, reconcile, mediate, understand both sides; have confidence and poise; use diplomacy, have enough knowledge to propose a plan; savoir-faire, and the ability to articulate objectives, purpose and the desired outcome(s). In most cases, not to take things personally but work on behalf of the relationship with both sides benefiting from the outcome of the agreements reached.

Whether it's at the negotiating table or the kitchen table, it is much easier to bring up old resentments and grudges, to blame the other person for the problems that exist, to get angry and refuse to communicate rather than spend the energy and time it takes to unify, humble oneself, find common ground and do whatever it takes to "work things out."

Both sides must be equally dedicated to finding ways to gain clarity, find beneficial solutions and communicate successfully - for themselves individually and collectively - or there is no hope for a positive outcome.

In some cases, one side must convince the other to engage earnestly - openly, honestly and directly - especially when a third party, such as a child, is involved in a dispute like divorce.

Ruthless actions and war break out when one party stops listening, refuses to listen, negotiate or care about the other person/side and takes violent action against him or her out of anger in an attempt to overthrow, subdue or eliminate the other person, or even entire populations, from mediation.

It's a "my way or the highway" mentality for one of the parties that creates the warring action.

Despite the protestations of caring for or even loving the person or people they hurt, the violent individual ceases to care the moment s/he plans to put them in harm's way.

Again, it matters not whether we're talking about the US and Iraq, the Nazi's and Europe in WWII, or hostile actions taken in the privacy of homes.

It's no secret that 85-95% of domestic violence victims are women, that the leading cause of injury to women is domestic violence -- and that pregnant women compose the highest percentage of all categories of people killed in acts of domestic violence by male intimate partners, boyfriends and husbands.

The men who beat, abuse and/or kill the women in their lives generally blame the women for "making" or "driving" them to take their anger out on "their" women because the women did not behave the way the men wanted them to. Since they realized they could not force the women to do what they want, they injure, cripple or murder them.

Essentially, the men who do not get their way refuse to negotiate - an action that would help them find a common ground to continue communication and a positive relationship in some way. Instead, they simply take their aggression out on people less capable of defending themselves - women and often their own children

So the aggressor in war, by this reasoning, would be the government that stops listening, refuses to negotiate, communicate or care about working through differences with the other side and strikes out to gain power over the other government, nation or populations. So that targeted people will behave the way the aggressor wants them to.

The Nazi's in Germany are classic examples of not just cutting off negotiations but of instigating an all out propagandist hate war against Jews, which then gave Hitler permission imprison and kill not only millions of Jews but millions of other "unpopular" groups as well - homosexuals, Catholics and anyone who opposed his drive for a "pure" Aryan race.

Because he fomented his nation to see enemies everywhere instead of negotiating partners, he literally declared war against the world with the blessing of Germans who participated because they drank Hitler's Kool-Aid.

Any time war breaks out, someone has drunk some aggressor's Kool-Aid.

Which apparently has the effect of preventing the drinker from being capable of thinking for himself or willing to investigate statements made that are intended to manipulate and control their behavior, making them willing to kill others for the cause.

In short: communicating honestly and earnestly=negotiating, building a relationship. It's tough. Very tough. Ask anyone in a healthy relationship, let alone a troubled coupling.

Cutting off communication, withholding "affection," wanting and trying to control and manipulate others=warring behavior.

Which can be as simple as trying to control someone by hurthing him or her with words, "that" look, silence, a slap, hiding his/her favorite ice cream, rumors, distance, lies or propaganda.

Or as complex as torturing and/or killing, or ordering people to torture and/or kill others for specific or unknown reasons and goals created by the person declaring the war.

Either way, violence is way easier than doing everything possible to "work it out" and go the limit to prevent unnecessary injury, harm or death.

If the two parties are very very different? Then it takes even more relationship skills to gain momentum to perhaps even outwit the withholding partner in order to negotiate honestly and forthrightly with a positive outcome in mind.

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