Conflict Resolution: Is Shared Empathy the Answer?

Conflict Resolution: Is Shared Empathy the Answer?

Written by Dr. Cory Reich, Ph.D., Posted on , in Section Editors Picks

Over the last few days the dominate world headlines have focused upon the regional conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. Of course, world allies and human interest quickly expands the conflict to world concerns and nations taking sides. Headlines represent the dominate theme of threats and drawing lines in the sand, from economic sanctions to military conflict.

As we watch from the sidelines, we are reminded how fragile the quality of life really is. We anxiously watch and read about how the conflict between two nations far from our homes, quickly becomes a very personal issue. The rippling effect of their conflict quickly washes upon our shores, effecting us on a economic and personal level. We are once again reminded that we are all essentially interrelated and interdependent.

The issue of conflict and the need for resolution is a stranger to no one. We yearn for an age of peace, of greater progress, of universal adoption of the golden rule...we can only hope for the day that war and conflict with its horrors be but a memory. Not just between nations, but between political parties in our own country, to our very family relationships.

We yearn for the day that the welfare of humanity be studied and more effectively applied instead of the enrichment of a race or the primary concern in supporting the extension of an empire to personal domination. Such an ideological shift, has and always will germinate in the soil of relational empathy.

The global transformation we seek begins with a personal transformation characterized by the primary motivation to recognize that the quality of our lives is in direct proportion to the quality of our relationships--globally, nationally, in our communities, and in our families. This shift requires that we better understand ourselves and others, with the intent to create shared meaning. In an environment characterized by shared empathy and genuine regard, we would create a world outcome where people would feel personal clarity and interpersonal understanding leading to compassion and cooperation--can you only imagine?

Research indicates that empathy, must become the value in itself, with the focus upon how we relate and seek to understand one another. While it sounds like a theme from Pollyanna, we must believe and promote it in our personal lives--it's always the best place to start.