“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.”
Tao Te Ching

I was looking for a quotation on conflict, and then I found so much more. I have had a lot of thoughts running through my head lately. The decline of people using good manners, how our capitalist society seems to be consuming itself, and how to overcome these issues. I have come to the conclusion that it needs to begin at home. Teaching the new generation that manners breed respect. Also practicing polite and kind behaviours ourselves.

In a society so obsessed with winning, it seems that the notion that not every situation has to have a loser has been lost. We are so predisposed to conflict it at times makes me sick. People that automatically take an opposite view for the sake of argument do not accomplish anything. Yet our corporations are always trying to promote teamwork between people that have been taught since they were little that they need to be the best.

We have compromised so much to be number one, family, friends, community, and our sense of fellowship. Even though I am sad by the prospect that our society is getting to be more and more self absorbed I do have hope. I think that the Internet has opened up new doors to create community and bring back the sense of fellowship. I also think that sharing ideas is going to take us to the next level, something that had been somewhat dormant for a generation. I believe creativity and progress is moving us forward in this digital world.

From the quote above I can take many things, but concentrating on conflict I come to the conclusion that as a society we need to work on compromise. We need to erase the notion that for someone to be a winner there has to be a loser, and that helping others is more rewarding than simply getting ahead. Climbing a mountain is a great accomplishment; even if you do it alone you still need someone to tell the story to. The measure of success is not how much we have or know, but how we enjoy it with those around us. Please share your thoughts on the topic, or simply what the quote meant to you.

6 comments on “Conflict

  1. Without knowing it, that quote sums up my life.

    A couple of years ago I found that I couldn’t sleep and I was depressed all the time. After spending quite a few nights thinking and evaluating my life I realized that I didn’t enjoy anything. I didn’t look forward to anything – everything was just a series of bulleted items on my life’s to-do list.

    My first step towards reclaiming my “self” was to curb my consumerism and simplifying things. For many months I took it to the extreme and only shopped and bought things from local vendors or smaller chains. Instead of going to Safeway or Albertson’s I’d go to the local market. Instead of driving everywhere I’d walk when I could or rode my bike (this mostly stopped when my number of jobs went from 1 to 3). I stopped going to Starbucks and cut way back on my fast food. I kept telling myself what my dad always told me “Use the K.I.S.S. method – Keep It Simple, Stupid!” That really helped me get my sleep back and feel better about myself.

    Lately, I just try to find things, little things, every day to be happy and excited about. When I get bummed that I have to get up at 2am to go to work, I remember that in doing so, I get to get off work in time to get my daughter from school. And on the way I get to pick up the baby from the wife’s work and see him smile at me. My wife and I also try to find little things to do to spend at least a few minutes of quality time together each night. We call them our dates. SOmetimes we have “ice cream dates” or we pop a disk from a season of Friends in the DVD player and have a “Friends date”. Every day I have something to look forward to by focusing on the little things.

  2. Overall great entry Logtar! I am a firm believer that “helping others is more rewarding than simply getting ahead.” I recently referenced to a similar situation in my case.

  3. I meant to put this in my long ass reply. Stumbled across this quote engraved on a necklace in a store once:

    “Live like you’ll die tomorrow. Learn as if you’ll live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  4. The prospect of immortality has always enticed me, not because of my fear of death, but because of the amount of knowledge I would be able to acquire. I would love to be able to speak every mayor language.

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