My colleague Gordon White and I are working on releasing a podcast in 2018. One of the people we have had the honour of interviewing for the podcast is the conflict luminary Ken Cloke. As his bio says: “Ken Cloke is a world-recognized mediator, dialogue facilitator, conflict resolution systems designer, teacher, public speaker, author of number books and articles, and a pioneer and leader in the field of mediation and conflict resolution for the last 37 years.”
In the course of preparing to meet with Ken, one quote I came across from his most recent book really resonated with me. The book is called The Conflict Revolution: Mediating Evil, War, Injustice and Terrorism.
I love the following quote from his book:
“Conflict is the principal means by which significant social, economic and political change have taken place throughout history… genuinely resolving conflicts at their chronic, and systemic source can be a dangerous, even revolutionary activity, because it encourages people to redress social injustices, collaborate on solutions and evolve in democratic ways that could fundamentally transform the system itself. Indeed, every collaborative, democratic, interest-based effort to resolve systemic conflicts is a small but significant transformation in the dysfunctional system that gave rise to them.” p. 207, Conflict Revolution.
Here are a few reasons why I love this quote
- I love it because it links the idea that solving small conflicts impacts solving the systemic ones.This is really inspiring to me: to think that if we take the time to sit with and resolve the smaller conflicts, they can impact the system, or the whole, positively.
- I also love the quote because it elevates the role of conflict – seeing conflict as central to our human experience.Speaking my language!
- I also love the quote because it suggests engaging and resolving conflict is a revolutionary act – encouraging people to redress harm and in a collaborative way.
What does it bring up for you?