[Opinion] What We Subsidize…

What a society taxes it gets less of, and what a society subsidizes it gets more of.

For various social, economic, psychological, emotional, and other reasons, societies around the world, throughout history, have taxed peace, while subsidizing war.

This is not a statement of judgment, just one of objective observation.

We honor dead soldiers, and only occasionally talk about dead peacemakers.

We have thousands of anonymous soldiers who go out and make war, as we have thousands of anonymous peacemakers, who go out and make peace every day. But only one group has a flame burning eternally for them at Arlington Cemetery in the US.

We honor the dead soldier, because we (and by ‘we’ I mean humanity as whole) value valor, honor, respect, dignity, and the ideals of revenge and justice, far more than we revere those same values at the peacemaking table.  This dichotomy is the most obvious at scale, where there are holidays honoring the sacrifice of life of the soldier, but no parades in your town for the generations of deceased divorce mediators.

These are not a statements of judgment, just ones of factual observation.

When we do choose to honor the diplomat, or the statesman, who brought us peace, we tend to honor the ones most vociferously who also guided us through war. Churchill is lauded far more than Chamberlain.

Unfortunately, as was pointed out years ago by the band Pink Floyd, the statesmen turned diplomats are the very same ones who sat in the rear of the line (or sat in an office back at home) and commanded “Go forward!” even as the soldiers in front, out on the line, died by the thousands.

Young men have always died valiantly fighting old men’s wars.

The fact is, we will always have more people willing to make war, than we will have people willing to make peace. This is a sad fact of the fallen state of humanity.

This is not a statement of judgment, just one of spiritual observation.

On this Memorial Day, let us take a moment to remember those who made the peace, as well as honor those who fell in the war, because, if humanity is to move forward in any kind of meaningful way, we need to subsidize the peace, and place a higher tax on the war.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

Negotiating With Outrageous Confidence: The Diplomacy Issue

Recently, we keynoted the Ithaca College 2014 BOLD Conference.


We had a great time talking with the student attendees at the conference about negotiation and performing that act of active asking, well and with confidence.

And not just confidence, but outrageous confidence.

We have found in our entrepreneurial journey, that too many people—the majority of whom are women and/or members of minority groups—don’t ask for what they want even meekly, much less outrageously.

But, after the keynote, a point was raised to us, around the issue of using the tactics of outrageousness to boost one’s self-confidence, in order to gain only win-win outcomes.

The person wanted to know about how to maintain diplomacy when going into a negotiation while also maintaining equanimity with self—and others—while also maintaining self-assurance.

This is a great question and, in the context of the wider world, the answer is that, the spate of recent college graduates “asking for too much” or “being unwilling to work hard for advancement” does not spring from a great well of self-assurance.

Instead, both of these meta-employment-phenomena are occurring in response to the messages that older, job holding generations, have provided an entire current generation. These messages have been absorbed and we are beginning to see the results of that absorption.

In the context of the smaller world of the keynote, however, we would respond by noting that, of course there are times in a negotiation, any negotiation, that the cost of disrupting a potential future relationship, must be weighed against the benefit of moving toward a win-lose outcome.

But, until many more people (including women and minorities) begin acting with a little more self-confidence, self-awareness and even outrageousness, we believe that encouraging others to ask period, rather than to not ask for too much too soon, is the better route.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/