There are conflicts everywhere.
From wars to rumors of wars, people, nation-states, corporations, organizations and many other individual and corporatized entities, are locked in conflicts, rooted in two factors: perceptions of reality and perceptions of power.
Perceptions of reality:
This one is the hardest to address, because from every person to every organization, perception is based on past experiences, contextual clues, and even the psychological and emotional make-up of people. No one agrees on the nature of reality, because, very few can agree (with 100% certain) on the nature of objective truth and facts. Both of which are mixed up with emotions when defining reality. Which lead to differences in perceptions, and ultimately create the spark that causes conflicts to rage like wildfires.
Perceptions of power:
Power is an interesting phenomenon, because everyone “knows” what “it” is—the ability to influence others to do your will—but no one can put a finger on where “it” shows up in the world. People, organizations and even nation-states, equate all kinds of material, psychological and even emotional “goods” with power. They make the same correlation with the trappings of power, or even the results of wielding power. But, no one can tell anyone what power actually is.
Perceptions of power and perceptions of reality both spring from the seeds of fear. Fear as an emotional driver motivates and animates most conflict scenarios. Whether a person is an employee at work, or the Pope in Rome, everyone fears something (an outcome) or someone (a person) and this fear drives the lust for power, the inability to establish a shared reality structure, and the desire for conflict.
On this Veterans’ Day in the United States of America (and Armistice Day, everywhere else in the world), we think on the ramifications of the impacts of reality and power and reflect on how much blood (both literal and metaphorical) has been spilled, in how much mud (both literal and metaphorical), since the dawn of mankind.
And how much blood (both literal and metaphorical) has yet to be spilled.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org