My podcast host, Gordon White, and I recently put out a survey asking our readers about what kind of conflict training they might want.  Over 50 people responded (thank you!) – and the input will go into creating some online training offerings for you!  More on that in the future.
In the meantime, there were a few themes that emerged.  One being how easy it is to avoid conflict.
Another one that grabbed me is summarized by this survey respondent’s comment:
“It seems that there is a growing anxiety, blame and defensiveness in our interactions as a result of the uncertainty coming from the climate crisis and political unrest. Developing these skills may help us ride through this storm without killing each other or at least harming each other a little less. I believe harmony and goodwill, resilience even can actually arise from these difficult situations when we develop these skills.”
This comment surfaces a question that haunts me: 
Can strengthening our capacity to deal with conflict actually help us in these increasingly difficult times?

It is a premise I put forward in my forthcoming TEDx talk (more on that when it’s released!) entitled Mediating While the World Burns.  Yet, it’s still hypothetical in my mind.  How do we know that having these skills and abilities could override our inherent instincts for self-protection when we see our bodies threatened with heat-exhaustion, starvation, chaos?
When I go to the times of chaos in the past, I do note there were always people who stepped forward with compassion, hope, help.  This story of good people exists in my own family’s past as well; it is the reason my mother survived the war (yes, that story is also in my TEDx talk!). These helpers who seem to exist despite the harshness of the times, are often the people, when interviewed later, who say they were taught as children that one must do the “Right Thing”. 
In fact, the famous children’s educator Fred Rogers, says that when he was young and might see something frightening on the news, his mother would tell him: ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ So, he started to look for the helpers and would always see them in every disaster known to humankind.
What do you think we need to help us become those helpers? What nurtures that state?
Now, that is an empowering inquiry!  What say you?