We get this question a lot. There’s a fairly simple answer: unresolved conflict ruins lives. When we look around we find families ruined, nations divided, churches and parishes in turmoil.
But that’s the simple answer. It’s easy to say conflict should be resolved. It’s quite another thing to do it. Yet many think resolving conflict is like walking; something you pick up naturally as you make your way through life.
There might be some truth to that. We learn how to deal with other people through experience. The more experience, the better. Perhaps that’s why many wonder why they need to take a course in conflict resolution. We all know more or less how to deal with conflict, don’t we?
Why Conflict Resolution Skills are Necessary
If only it were that easy. If it were, the world would be a far better place. Once again, look around. How many people do you see truly managing, let alone resolving conflict in their lives? How many appear as if they’re crawling, rather than jogging, through life? How many seem more like they’re drowning?
“But so what?” you say. “Conflict is a normal part of life. Everybody struggles with it. What’s the big deal?”
Again, there’s some truth to that argument. Conflict is a normal, if not necessary, part of life. After all, overcoming conflict helps us learn. Makes us tougher, helps become wiser or better at life.
Unfortunately, conflict may spiral out of control, destroying families, nations, churches, and lives. That’s why we say unresolved conflict ruins lives. Ruin starts with a small bad seed that could easily have been destroyed had the parties only known how to destroy it. Left to fester, the seed sprouts and then mushrooms beyond our ability to contain its growth, wreaking havoc in our lives.
Indeed, conflict rarely just goes away by itself. Conflict bears some resemblance to disease. We try everything we can to alleviate or even cure disease. When we pass conflict off as simple a “normal” part of life, we conveniently weasel out of handling difficult situations, and invite unnecessary suffering. In the end, unresolved conflict only promotes growth and spiritual transformation if we actively learn to overcome it.
That’s why we’re dedicated to teaching people how to resolve conflict. We know much of the unrest can be handled and overcome, and yet we see so many ill equipped to bring peace.
Why learn to resolve conflict? Because conflict resolution skills are some of the most essential skills in life, and often some of the most overlooked.