In Washington there is Conflict.  We often think of Conflict as ‘war’ or ‘dispute’, but another term might be ‘disharmony.’  Today I heard a presentation by Dr. Gregory Firestone on Conflict Resolution.  He was quite informative and much of what I report here is taken from his lecture.  I give him credit for any valuable insight derived from this posting.   He offers that the goal of Conflict Resolution is achieving ‘harmony’.  It is more a goal of compromise rather than having a winner or loser.  He sees the types of Resolution taking three forms:

  1. Exercise of Power (use of authority)
  2. Exercise of Rights (use of the courts)
  3. Mutual Satisfaction of Interests

                      i.      Outcomes reflective of substantive interests (often postural)

                      ii.      Outcomes showing respect and reflective of each parties needs. (interest based)

 Conflict exists everywhere.  As one with a strong orientation to my faith, religion (Christian), it can be observed that there are conflicts between religions, and within a religion there are conflicts (often very strong) between denominations or factions (interpretations of the book of that religion).  We live in a Country that prides itself on freedom and especially freedom of religion.  Such freedom can be interpreted in different ways as exemplified by the ACLU trying to eliminate any form of religion on public property (an area where I disagree and feel they press too hard and go too far), but often in conflict with popular opinion and feeling. 

 Our Federal Government today operates with the primary parties, Democrats and Republicans, in conflict.  It is like Team West vs. Team East in an all star game.  All energies and efforts go into winning, defeating the other team.  The problem is as teams representing the people, chosen by the people, the winners are supposed to be the people in the stands, the spectators.  We are today like spectators watching gladiators in the Washington Olympiad; but we are not really cheering for either team to win.  We are hoping and praying for the teams to come together as one and collaborate on a solution that satisfies the needs of the majority in every case – and support too those who are poor, sick, infirmed and need our help – and letting the charities do their thing in this regard (government providing financial assistance as it is able).

 In the arena of Education we see conflict between the liberal thinkers and the conservative thinkers.  We see a system dominated by one persuasion and insensitive to the desires of the other.  Eliminated from curriculums is the Bible, but more importantly what is eliminated is the moral and ethical values outlined and discussed in the Bible.  Sides are taken over Darwin’s hypothesis and those of Intelligent Design, yet resolve, harmony, is possible.  Do we teach or indoctrinate?  When do our educators come together with the objective of teaching our young children, teenagers, and college age kids to prepare them to take on the differences in society, the elements of right and wrong, and be able to distinguish for themselves and make their own determinations without the influence of their mentors. 

 In each area there is conflict.  There are 5 ways, according to Dr. Firestone, that such conflict is confronted:

  1. Avoidance
  2. Accommodation
  3. Competition
  4. Compromise
  5. Collaboration

 He sees ‘collaboration’ as the best of these in achieving what everyone in a free society desires – recognition of the needs of all, cooperation, respect and harmony.

 With proper Conflict Resolution objectives in view there would be less of a feeling, as this Nation is now experiencing, of a dominant party taking advantage of their situation and ‘ramming’ down the throats of the spectators their personal desires, or if not a desire, a want to win, to show power, victory in the face of competition regardless of the outcome, results, or impact.  President Obama is leading this charge and is the one that can stem the tide of a tsunami bearing down on America with only the Democrats riding the peak of this intrusive wave.  He, unfortunately, is doing little, catering instead to the likes of the Unions, in particular SEIU, listening to individuals with their own personal agendas, such as Valerie Jarrett, and his party leaders, such as Reid and Pelosi, and who in their own way have demonstrated a complete lack of respect for their immediate constituency and their fellow Americans. 

 We need a world with a greater understanding and desire at Conflict Resolution that does not involve ‘war’ or direct ‘competition’, but instead ‘collaboration’ to attain outcomes that serve everyone.  We need a Federal Government that can demonstrate they have Wisdom, the wisdom to implement the proper form of resolve to issues in the forefront today – health care reform, cap and trade, employee free choice legislation, abortion, freedom of religion and international relations.

 Mr. President please start to demonstrate wisdom.  So far we have only seen an inexperienced, articulate, orator that can read a well prepared speech on a teleprompter, one who shows too little independence in a room filled with party members, union organizers, community organizers and czars, who also fails to listen intently to appointed military leaders, and who pushes agendas that are clearly of his desire (not necessarily of his origination).  Mr. President you need to show America you want a balanced budget, that you can be responsible with the check-book of this Country and that you will not lead us towards bankruptcy.  Make us feel confident you will not be leaving another President with the job of unwinding legislation you allowed that did not comport with campaign promises you made.  However, in order to save us from our own demise, which you may be causing, we will vote another party into power to reverse the calamity you are on the cusp of crating.  You legacy will be as Mr. Chaos more than as Mr. President.

One thought on “Collaboration

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