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Divine’s Intervention

After witnessing demonstrations and conflict on college campuses over the past couple of weeks, I decided it might be timely to revisit a topic I first addressed back in 2022.

The American educational reformer and President of Antioch College, Horace Mann, once said, “Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.”

Conflict has always been a part of the human race, and will never be eliminated. Whether we are referencing all-out armed conflict, demonstrations stemming from armed conflict such as the current Israeli actions against Hamas, or even a simple disagreement between two individuals about what political candidate to support; conflict is inevitable. Thus the pragmatic question is not will you be involved in conflict, but how will you respond to conflict when it arises.

A proactive approach to dealing with conflict is awareness of the possibility, and consequently having avoidance or coping strategies at the ready. Whether the issue at hand is where to go to dinner, how to raise children, what to do about crime rates, or how to deal with unwanted neighbors, the possibility of conflict, at some level, is always present. Ignoring the reality of potential conflict, while perhaps an attractive strategy for the short-term, is very likely a poor strategy for the longer term.

Please understand I am not suggesting you should go through life expecting conflict to arise around every turn. I am; however, suggesting maintaining a mindset that conflict could arise at any level of our lives, ensures you will not be taken completely off-guard, and thus will be prepared to meet the challenges as presented.

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