MMMark's Whycandoo Room: The Inevitable    
 The Inevitable10 comments
27 Feb 2002 @ 21:42, by Mark Smollin

One of our beloved members made the statement, "I think that conflict is inevitable..." She was referring to what is likely to happen among people and I do agree that it is more than likely during these times. If I examine this truthful wisdom against our desire for a peaceful society, I stop to consider if conflict is indeed "inevitable." Will it always be inevitable?

Is there anyone here on NCN that deliberately looks for conflict? Is there a hunger for it? Is conflict generated between people for some type of just reward? Does argument bring us any closer to social harmony, sisterhood, brotherhood, or peace? I don’t think so. There may be many definitions or descriptions of the reasons we make conflicts, yet our most important task is to find a way to end them, as many of them as possible, as often as possible.

Martin Luther King talked often about this barrier to peaceful coexistence, his words have been posted recently in the log of the Silvergryffin’s as "MLK." Did we understand what we read, "…violence multiplies violence…?" It is the same as saying criticism multiples criticism and judgment multiples judgment. Simpleman says clearly and repeatedly that this will not do. Andy Lehman posted, "And now, ladies and gentlemen, a bit of brutal honesty," a wonderful log about responsible thinking and behavior. I too have posted many items on NCN for the express purpose of holding up models of excellence for us to follow, but they seem not to affect our ability to change old abusive patterns. Our writing goes far beyond forcing everyone to agree, as though many act like we would suffer for it, as an offering of love to this community and the global one, to head in the right direction: To confine our use of freedom to the loving sort alone.

It has been discouraging and demoralizing to be having these argumentative and hurtful experiences. I’m embarrassed in front of the new member I invited here. We are lacking tact, finesse, sincerity and honesty when it counts the most – when we are squeezed. Are we being actually pressured, or do we perceive it that way? I could use many expletives now to bolster my emotional distress, but I will refrain from perpetuating that type of thing as my tolerance will endure. I know this is not a personal contest and therefore I would ask please: that YOU do NOT write things on this site that are not intended to have a specific constructive purpose. Anything else will not serve any of our needs at any time. If you don’t have something nice to say – don’t! Show some humility as though we might learn, as though we think seriously about what others tell us. Be helpful, don’t be a critic. Think "community" at all times. Throw your chest out with pride and say we stand for something good – then be that goodness.

If you are confused or feel you are offended, stop pushing your agenda and ask the other person for clarification. Ask for a "time-out." Explain that something occurred which made you feel awkward and why with kindness. Ask them kindly not to do that anymore because it upsets you. It can be that simple.

Now, if we enter these hallowed virtual spaces with the expectation that conflict is inevitable, I would guarantee that we will be correct, confirmed in our mindset, we will be "right!" Okay then, aren’t we smart? Aren’t we all losers? My explanation of this inevitability is due to our believing, with immovable conviction, that people will fight. People always have the potential to fight, but it is not a given fact of life that we must. The first step out of this darkness is to believe with absolute clarity that conflict is NOT inevitable! By doing so we will stop the cycles of human-to-human abuse where it starts in the mind, and we will become walking examples of faith in our genetic capacity for goodness. Pretty soon we might even be able to make the claim that Loving is Inevitable.

The world will be saved by individuals of integrity freely joining. --Buckminster Fuller




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10 comments

27 Feb 2002 @ 22:02 by magical_melody : Tell the Truth Brother!
Hey Mark. You know it is very timely that I read what you have written here. I know that I will come back to re-read it, when I need it most. Hell, when I am in conflict with myself, I'll come read. I liked what you wrote, and agree that we need to attend to ourselves and one another through confronting defeating and non-loving attitudes and behaviors, both within ourselves and one another.
Peace, Alana  



27 Feb 2002 @ 23:44 by mmmark : Resonance
Alana - I'm glad to feel you near me in the only enduring frequency I know.  


28 Feb 2002 @ 00:18 by ming : Conflict
Some people do look for conflict, and thrive on it. And there have been people like that in NCN. But, to the best of my assessment, nobody who has been active in this environment in the last few weeks is in that category. In my opinion, the worst problem is the secondary reaction, where we mistakenly believe that somebody attacked us, and therefore we immediately counter-attack. Most people here really don't set out to attack and hurt anybody. So, if you feel attacked, count to 50 slowly, while considering more benign intentions the person might have had. And then answer, if at all necessary, those intentions.  


28 Feb 2002 @ 02:19 by jazzolog : What's Inevitable?
I remember how shocked I was at first when psychologists came up with the notion that some stress and anxiety always are involved in learning. We were in the midst of the '60s feelgoods then, and group warmfuzzies were the rage. We were planning new schools and open classrooms and students were calling their teachers by first names and everybody was hugging everybody (and sometimes into areas of dangerous more). We were mellow---and here comes an unmellow fellow to tell us about anxiety. Yikes, where's my bag of weed? Oh yeah, a student borrowed it.
These new thinkers were blazing away in innercity schools, not like me lounging my career up in Amherst and the Berkshire Hills. They said Look, in the life of the mind you introduce something new---anything new---and there is a period of adjustment while the brain looks for content that might upset the applecart, that may require Fight or Flight. So yes, there will be tension in a classroom where learning goes on! It's natural, so design your environment accordingly. Plan your day.
Kay said yesterday, over at DivinePowers that she needs to go in that workgroup for hugs. She knows they're there and there are times in her day when she needs one. Oh we get into discussions in that Conversation Room and sometimes even disagreements, but mostly we bliss out. I think that's wonderful. People know there are places to go for different things.
Some of the newslogs are comforting and inspiring always. No stress with Satorius: just the gentle winds of an encouraging soul and beautiful spirit. Then there are hard thinkers and the twists and turns of heavy cogitation. Other logs you don't know what you'll find. A tricky headline may lead me into a trap! "Oh god or goddess or whatever-I-believe today---and that part's hazy too---I'M UNDER ATTACK! Where did I put that sword?" There are places at NCN that invite and encourage learning and we may have to feel that stress.
While I'm in the anxiety of learning, and wondering whether I have to discard any cherished prejudices, I'm in conflict with myself to a degree. I may require the quiet privacy of a library while I go through that. I don't want to be disturbed. We may need to acknowledge in ourselves that a rippling tension, hopefully that is pleasant, comes with the territory of even coming in NCN.

There's another complication here...and anywhere with the computer. I've been told by some surprising people here in the last couple weeks that they are not at NCN---or maybe even on the computer at all---to make relationships. The implication has been---and even statements made directly---"Back off bub!" I have had to think about that. If I'm in the library, and find another human being in the space where I'm searching or walking or riding the elevator or up at the desk, my practice is to offer a pleasantry of some kind. An exchange may occur and even a conversation begin. I'm enjoying this and someone new, but of course the ol' anxiety thing is there because I'm learning. At any moment this chat may end because of a million different stimuli or an occasion or literally whatever. Some kind of closure is good---or invitation for continuing another time. That's just normal interaction.
But of course also at the library---and including myself sometimes---there are people who are strictly business or in a hurry, and any distraction is just a bother or even offensive. All of this is communicated with body language and looks. Not on a computer though. I suppose it is safe to assume that many of us are not on this machine for relationships. In fact I may be on my computer a few hours a day because my realtime relationships stink, are all failures. Why do I think they'll be any better with mere electronic circuitry? If I want the fullness of love relationship, clearly there is a whole pile of tech devices I should throw in the landfill this minute---if only they weren't so damned toxic.
So I'm thinking, Yeah, why do I get bent out of shape when someone tells me to buzz off, they've got work to do? I need to respect that and look more carefully for cues that there'll be no joking around with this or that person. I think all of these unknowns---and probably a ton more---are involved in the "conflict" here.
Who wouldn't love a magical big convention center where suddenly we all would be in person? Name tags and just milling around. Booths set up for the more commercial people. Meeting each other in magical/realtime at last. I'd love it! But there may be people who wouldn't go. I understand that and respect it, even though I would be disappointed. Inevitable stress might be too much.

It appears to me that Ming has thought of these matters I have discussed here---and probably more, and is open to suggestions along these lines. There are different areas for different people to do different things. But the newslogs remain a neverneverland where anything can happen. That's great! Lively learning here.  



1 Mar 2002 @ 20:53 by maxtobin : What to say?
 


1 Mar 2002 @ 21:13 by maxtobin : Hit to wrong key!!
Mark, this is a big one, I hope my comment can do it justice, I sense your intent, and it is wonderful and admirable, I must aggree with Richard though and say that in the life we have chosen in this realm of polarity we will find all sorts of situations and it is not that conflict is inevitable rather that we need to be very much more clear about what is our stuff and to discern clearly what is intent. Any conflict is in the being of the perceiver, all we see here are words (powerful no doubt) to which we attach our own filtered meaning, if there is conflict then it is because it resonates with an inner need. I noticed one entry that looked like a direct insult, but hey thats not my problem because I AM a creature of light and shadow play and I don't chose to resonate with that. And on another occassion a full frontal attack, so I absorbed and centered and asked why (of myself) and then looked deeper and asked spirit what I had bought this into my life for, now there is a process (we have engaged)and I have resolved the problem at one level. Yet there is much more yet to do in that direction and the same need has been thrown out to others. I rest in the silence with this for the moment and await intuitive direction for the highest and best good.
To put it in a nut shell, never take a fence it is only a limitimg boundary after all and curtails freedom, but neither avoid healthy confrontation (not to be confused with brutal confrontation)it is a growth inspiring process if we embrace it with that intent. War is a very sick expression of confrontation of an unhealthy kind, ALWAYS apply the following filter (my advise to myself) what is for the highest and best good of ALL in each event requireing response. Respond rather than reacting, assume anothers best intention but be prepared to say stop, do I understand you correctly? and then go on and dance the dance like there is no tommorrow. Where is peazritr with her band of gypsies?  



2 Mar 2002 @ 17:20 by simpleman : INNER NEED
Mark, commend you for this log. Just makes us all sit back and think a little bit. I've read all the comments, and can relate to alot of whats been said. One thought really caught my attention though, and that was Maxtobin's comment about inner need. It does seem that during conversation, if conflict arises, if we look at our own experiences we find something that triggered the feeling. there have been many occasions when something I said provoked a negative reaction from someone. At the time I said it, it was not appearant to me. If I start to think about the situation, putting myself in the other persons shoes, I'll find that what I did or said was offensive. Of course, then I start to feel guilty. If possible I will apoligize for my actions and admit I was wrong.

To Jazzman and everyone else, I am here to experience and possibly begin new relationships, but my main focus is to learn. Since I respect the views of everyone at NCN, I prefer to be told when I'm out of line.  



3 Mar 2002 @ 02:10 by mmmark : Please People
I wrote this to inspire a change of attitude, not hoping to hear the opposite logic, which I too gave give, but I decide not take that side because it is pointless and harmful in the long run. Of course we will say things that will upset someone, but it is their responsibility to gain clarification and resolution, or correct us gently, and if we are mannered, we will apologize. The old engrams and mimes have got to go - and I wrote this to say so. Do I hear agreements on that?  


3 Mar 2002 @ 15:55 by ming : Conflict
Mark ... I am not meaning to throw fuel on the fire for you. On the contrary, I'm trying to express this as lovingly as I can.... Looking over your message and the responses, the only person who's vibrating CONFLICT and negativity in this is YOU. I see various people giving comments about embracing what we could call "conflict", and experiencing it as something useful and desirable, as part of the creative process of sorting out different approaches and different perspectives. Essentially I see these people expressing that it doesn't have to be considered something BAD, but it can be a positive, creative thing. And then it appears that you perceive those various comments as disagreeing with you, and being negative towards you. Whereas I don't perceive that. You presented a negative judgment about something which most others here seemed to find value in. And they didn't answer with a negative judgment about you, they answered with an explanation of why they thought it should be an and/and, rather than an either/or. I think they have a right to that, and I don't think you have a right to take that away from us. So, Mark, stop being negative, stop trying to tell everybody what they can't do. Find the positive and constructive aspects in what is actually here. I know you only mean the very best. I'm just trying to point out that it doesn't have to be a fight. You can accomplish what you'd really like to do without having to be in conflict with everything else that is going on. Drop the conflict. If we're really on the same team, then stop fighting us.  


3 Mar 2002 @ 18:54 by mmmark : Sorry Ming
This post was written in response to a member saying that conflict is inevitable. I begged to differ. There was added incentive to write this followig all the distress and depression other members were feeling during conflict with others, so I do not understand how your comment applies to me. I have been an advocate for nothing but positive comments and a civil tongue. I may not always measure up to my goal, but I felt the need to share it light of the NCN wars.  


Other entries in
3 Oct 2008 @ 02:43: What 4
31 May 2004 @ 00:13: Memorial For America
24 Dec 2003 @ 18:22: Seasons Greetings
2 Dec 2003 @ 15:12: Shared Purpose
8 Jun 2003 @ 00:27: Namasté = Respect
22 Jan 2003 @ 20:59: Doers & Democracy
10 Jan 2003 @ 14:47: NEW STYLE THINKING
22 Dec 2002 @ 13:22: Wonderful Winter Holidays To You
4 Jun 2002 @ 02:13: Relationships
16 May 2002 @ 04:02: Thanks For Telling Me



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