[Advice] The Epidemiology of Resolution

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: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Podcast] The Epidemiology of Conflict – The Earbud_U Minute

Conflicts, disputes and other disagreements are not the disease. They are symptoms of the disease.

When we think about how a virus spreads, doctors, researchers, data gatherers and others look at the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in a particular population.

Epidemiology is a very specific interdisciplinary science, but when we talk about the presenting issues that lead to conflict, even in our post-therapeutic age, we are still hesitant to become armchair analysts.

Or, we analyze and get it wrong.

The beginning of understanding the how and why the symptoms of conflict are confused with the nature of a conflict itself, begins with taking apart the behavioral and personality choices that individuals make—and that particular populations, in particular environments, support.

Think about it: In the workplace, there still remains the illusion that resources are limited, thus competition is reinforced.

Thus, individuals who would rather be collaborative are now in conflict with the underpinnings of the environment where they spend 40 to 60 hours per week.

Think about it: In the church—or any other religious organization—the illusion remains that faith and belief will remove the stain of previous wrongs and mistakes without active engagement on the part of the individual.

Thus, individuals who are looking for active engagement wind up within groups that would rather remain collectively passive in the face of all manner of wrongdoing.

Think about it: In the school, bullying behavior manifests, but politicians, teachers, policy makers and others would rather support a broken system that encourages collective, Industrial system based responses.

Thus, micro-schooling with smaller groups (or homeschooling) is pooh-poohed and parents (who vote) raise children who are overly aggressive due to familial environments, and are never directly confronted about the results of their uninformed parenting styles by the “system.”

Root causes—and getting back to them—is often the first thing that is dismissed by critics of therapy, counseling, and even mediation.

But without exploring and getting to the root of root causes, the solutions to the corrosive nature of conflict will never be fully teased apart.

And we will continue to be collectively surprised by apathy and inaction, bullying, poor communication, and ineffective organizational responses, even as we build more tools that separate us further.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principle 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/