Resolution is not the cure for the disease of conflict. Neither is forgiveness or reconciliation.
Resolution, forgiveness and reconciliation merely name the types of processes that have to occur in the hearts of people in conflict during the final stages of the conflict process.
But do not be deceived: the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:
Who can know it?
We addressed aspects of the science of epidemiology before, and where that science dovetails with the process of the resolution, forgiveness and reconciliation, is three fold:
Epidemiology involves examining the symptoms of presenting issues and how they relate to the overall disease map, or journey—the process of resolution has presenting issues, and the main one is the presence of a softened heart.
Epidemiology involves examining the roots of diseases to determine why they arose in the first place—the process of forgiveness, true forgiveness, involves looking at the roots of a relationship where conflict arose in the past, present and may arise in the future, and then determining what the roots of those conflicts are.
Epidemiology involves examining how a virus, or disease spreads among an at-risk (or not yet at risk) population—true reconciliation between damaged parties in conflicts happens very rarely, but when it does, the psychological and emotional benefits of moving forward from where the conflict ended, spread rapidly.
In the radio show of the 1930’s and 1940’s, Lamont Cranston was the vigilante known as The Shadow. In later years, Alec Baldwin portrayed the character in a big budget movie. At the core of The Shadow’s war on crime, was the idea expressed in the opening lines of the radio show, later abandoned in the 1994 film altogether:
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
The cure for conflicts through the processes of resolution, foregiveness and reconciliation is multifaceted, multi-angled and requires performing hard, emotional labor, that many of us would rather not perform.
But when everything else hasn’t worked, hard work is sometimes all the work that’s left.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org