Tag: Conflict

When Not to Fight

 

During World War II, Douglas MacArthur mapped a strategy called “island hopping” to win the war in the Pacific theatre. To achieve the ultimate objective of defeating Japan, MacArthur decided to only attack islands that would benefit the ultimate objective of victory. But the real advantage of skipping an attack on some islands was that they were heavily fortified. Instead of attacking Japanese strongholds MacArthur bypassed them, saving lives on both sides. Sometimes the best strategy for dealing with those ready to fight might be not to fight at all.

A person might be wise by the battles he doesn’t fight. Maybe you have been in situations like I have where the person with whom I have a disagreement is very good with words. The wisest way for me to respond to that individual is not with more words. Piling my words on top of their words will just continue the fight. Perhaps the better way to counter the conflict would be to do something nice. Proverbs 25 says that kindness heaps “burning coals” on my adversary, meaning, he is ashamed that his attacks have been countered with unexpected goodness.

Or maybe you have been in a situation, like me, where a foolish person has done something that has hurt you. Proverbs 29 says that a wise person knows it is pointless to argue with a fool. The fool’s only response to my words is rage and ridicule. Proverbs 23 says I should not even speak wisdom within earshot of a fool, who will only despise the “good sense” of my words.

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Perhaps you’ll judge the title hyperbole, once you know the actual subject. But this hit me fairly hard.  I have in mind two people very close to me. We are not politically aligned, despite their living their lives on very conservative terms. They’re Christians, they’re loving, they’re generous. I love them and they love me.  […]

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I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. –Thomas Jefferson Here we are, about to have the results of the 2020 election finalized. Much chaos has ensued in the last four years. Relationships have been strained and, in some cases, ended; much hurt […]

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A Lose-Lose Election for Americans

 

Trigger Warning: Deep depression may ensue after reading this post.

Tonight I realized that in many respects, everyone is going to lose, no matter what the election results are. In particular, relationships with friends, family, and co-workers that are polarized will become even further antagonistic. Civil disruption will grow. It’s a pretty ugly picture.

If Joe Biden wins the election, the very future of our democracy will be at risk. Democrats will begin to shift governance to a socialist structure. Laws will be passed that will challenge the relevance of the Constitution. Those of us on the other side will begin to realize, if we haven’t already, that our way of life will be at risk. The Bill of Rights will be bypassed in numerous ways. Censorship will be common; gun bans will be initiated and religions will be further censured. We, on the Right, will finally be so angry and frustrated that we will feel compelled to take action; how that action will manifest is a serious concern. Political discussions that may have been avoided between people with adversarial views will now be out in the open. Polarization will intensify and relationships will be further degraded. The Right will feel that by electing Joe Biden (and by default, Kamala Harris), the Left has betrayed the country. And they will want to find a way to take our country back.

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I don’t even know what to make of this story, but it seems like a 3-way collision of identity politics maybe with an icing of religion (leaving out only immigration). Two-way is spreading from the US to a lot of other places in the world…but we’re still ahead! https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46943364 Preview Open

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Conflict Coffee?

 

A few years ago, my company was forced to spend millions of dollars proving that our products do not contain “conflict minerals,” or raw materials produced in war zones. A fool’s errand, if you ask me, because it is nearly impossible to prove where all of the raw materials used in any product originated.

I was just in my local Starbucks, and I noticed they have a small blackboard where they list “Starbucks Reserve Coffees.” One of today’s Reserve selections is D. R. Congo Kawa Kabuya.

In Defense of Men

 

This morning I read an excellent article by DC McAllister in The Federalist and came away with a feeling of despair. I appreciated what she wrote, but I felt there was even more to say about the abyss that has deepened between men and women as the result of the latest onslaught of accusations by women against men.

Please do not misunderstand. My heart goes out to women who have been sexually assaulted, intimidated and ignored by those to whom they protested. There are men who behave like idiots, uninterested in how their behavior affects others. But I’m appealing to all women to think about the best ways we can deal with these problems. And I don’t think we are taking steps in a helpful direction.

Bridging the Abyss

 

It’s been difficult at times to post on Ricochet, and nearly impossible to discuss politics with anyone who isn’t a conservative outside of Ricochet. With some of these conversations erupting into conflict, I decided to shed some light on the topic of conflict. It doesn’t matter which “side” you’re on: I’m talking to you. After all, if you experience serious conflict, it’s your own fault.

Let me explain a few things before I delve further into this topic. First, I use the term “serious conflict,” because every living human being experiences conflict several times a day, every day, whether or not you visit Ricochet. So I’m not talking about minor skirmishes, choices of whether to start your diet today or tomorrow, or whether to go out for Chinese or Italian. I’m talking about the heavy duty stuff. There is no permanent elimination of conflict—at least, not until you die.

The first reality to acknowledge is there’s no objective reality. Yes, I see the conflict already in my statement. Unfortunately each of us thinks we have the clearest vision of the world, of Truth, and everyone else can and should see the world as we do, right? Wrong. No one else sees your reality or your world, or whatever you choose to call it. You may argue that there are universal truths, though. Well, good luck when you try to identify the list: all of us can state universal truths—based on our own world views. What about the objective realities of mathematics or science? One only needs to study Einstein or climate change to know there is no fixed or objective science there, either. Even with the simple experience of sitting right next to a person in a closet: you may generally describe the closet in the same way, but you’ll likely have a different experience of that closet which influences your perceptions of the closet. It gets very interesting when you try to describe what seems to be a clear-cut experience and you both describe it quite differently: who’s right? Who’s wrong? Both of you and neither of you.

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Apologizing seems to be on my radar screen these days. The media (or Trump’s people) are demanding that Mitt Romney must apologize before Trump should consider making Romney Secretary of State. Here on Ricochet, many people have stated that they must receive apologies from others before they can move on following the election. So I […]

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We can put a lot of value on living lives of harmony, fostering good relationships, following strong ethics, and practicing integrity. And yet we may talk a “tough line” that we do what we have to survive, that rules are meant to be broken, that it doesn’t count if you’re not caught. It’s easy to find ourselves […]

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Don’t you love this title? I adapted it from a comment that a participant made in one of my training courses. People almost always snicker when they hear it, because it resonates with all of us: I’m not the problem; you are! So I’d like to explain how I worked with it in my training […]

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[Member Post]

 

I was mulling over how much I enjoy and appreciate Ricochet and how it has encouraged me to think about ideas that I take for granted. I’ve come to realize that being a Conservative doesn’t mean being staid and unchangeable. In addition, I thought that all of us might consider, as we look forward (with […]

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