Enlightened Conflict

My Thoughts on Conflict and People

February 3rd, 2010

So. What is it about me and conflict?

First. I like contradictions in life. Smart and funny. Silent but says a lot. Liberal conservative. Cynical optimist. Things like that. Oh. And enlightened and conflict of course.

Contradictions are powerful. They create a chemistry ending in positive friction (when done right) and the fire for innovative thinking and thoughts. In general I believe they make life interesting.

Second. Conflict is part of life. Humans are neither passive nor stagnant. We move. We do. We think. Combine that fact with individuals are unique (although they may group together) and inevitably there is some conflict. It can simply be healthy competition or it can be staggeringly evil intended activity (i.e. there will be conflict because your point of view and thoughts shouldn’t exist and I am going to extinguish them).

Third. I believe conflict can be “managed”. Maybe call it competitive camaraderie. I call it enlightened conflict. I believe if people know more about stuff (I don’t really believe it needs a technical term) then conflict will be conducted with knowledge. Ignorance guides conflict toward evil interactions and knowledge guides conflict to responsible interactions.

Fourth. “Enlightened”. My focus in life, whether I have recognized it or not, has been overcoming ignorance. Fulfilling curiosity – either mine or anyone’s life I glance off of. But I would envision someone would argue I am fighting for some version of pluralism. Freedom to learn and think different thoughts. I love freedom of speech but it is less important to my thoughts globally. Possibly because I believe the less ignorant people are the more likely they are to speak out (therefore we will end up getting some form of freedom of speech as a byproduct of this whole thing).

In the end I imagine what I really care about are people’s actions. They can remain mute as far as I am concerned as long as their actions respect others opinions and lives and global responsibilities.

Summarizing my deal with conflict.

My theory is conflict will always exist (human nature). On all levels – from huge populations aligned for ‘whatever’ cause to an individual aligned behind a belief. And that is okay. The friction between beliefs and causes often creates the spark for something better. Yup. I am suggesting conflict and friction is good (I apologize to all the “why can’t we all get along” groups). Good conflict leads to positive friction and ideation and evolution of ideas. And I believe we should try to manage that conflict globally by developing kind of a ‘values’ rules of competition.

Simply it revolves around two thoughts

  • Positive friction.
  • Enlightened conflict.

The first is based on curiosity plus friction equals better ideas and thinking.

The second is lack of ignorance plus conflict equals respectful competition (and yes … unfortunately the competition can be war … but it is war understanding the repercussions on humanity and the toll it takes).

If I could do what I really want to do it would be to create a global program or educating a global generation of kids. I have written some fairly extensive thoughts on how to create a global program for kids (up to 8 years old) to help fight ignorance and create a more balanced global community with respect to individuals, their beliefs and the environment (it is not a math, grammar, etc. education program). Someday I hope to find someone who will ask me to implement it.

Until then? I will hope that I can impact the little corner of my world with positive friction for enlightened conflict.

“Enlighten the people, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”

Thomas Jefferson

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Enlightened Conflict