How we deal with conflict
A Story from the Training Course “Neutral Conflict”
In this project, we worked on understanding that conflicts are neutral. Conflict is a natural part of existence and the way we approach it defines the outcome.
We are 24 people coming from different countries, backgrounds and contexts who came together in Madrid for one week to learn and speak about peace, living by the principles of nonviolence and community building.
During this learning process, we discovered the concepts and tools used in conflict transformation and we practiced them in the context of our local realities.
We shared our experiences and these are the learning points we value the most.
Understanding the definitions and concepts of violence, peace and conflict helped us in building a common ground from which we could start conversations on peacebuilding. That’s why we want to share them with you:
- Violence is any human act that harms any living being or environment.
- Peace is a participatory and non-violent process that seeks to reduce all forms of violence and create conditions for well-being.
- Conflict is a perceived or actual contradiction of goals that can be within yourself or between different individuals.
If we want to get involved in conflict transformation we have to be mindful of the background, needs and emotions of the people involved in it. This is called conflict sensitivity.
Emotions are the consequence of having our needs met or not. All of them are valid and motivate us to take action. Having a deeper understanding of our emotions can help us choose how we want to act in the world. We choose peace.
The common understanding is the base of dialogue that leads to a peaceful resolution. Conflicts are not transformed by focusing on debating the contradicting points but rather through understanding them.
If we have learned so much in one week, imagine what we can achieve if we apply these principles to our everyday life. Would you be willing to learn with us?