This is a very interesting book recommended by the VP of the company I was working for. The bottom line message of the book is that all conflicts are caused by our heart being at war not in peace. This state of war leads us to treating the people we interact with as objects and not as people. We do this mainly for justifying an action which we know is not in line with our values. This provokes a response from the “object” which confirms the characteristics of the "object" we have defined. Thus we spiral down into a state of complete war with that person. Told in the context of a camp program run by a Jew and an Arab, it weaves the Palestinian and Israel conflict stories to make the points.
The concepts hold well even when you apply it your own personnel life. How many times do we find ourselves treating people badly because they remind us of our weakness (Personal, Professional, Moral or Ethical)? The manager who tries to improve us by pointing to our weakness is “bossy wanting to destroy your career”. Very quickly your poor performance and mistakes are caused by the boss. By now the boss has started seeing you as an object “Poor worker with a bad attitude” and his response change to justify to himself that he is not a bad boss but has an unmanageable worker. So the whole interaction dives to a new low of blaming each other. Finally when you get fired or you resign, you carry the war in your mind, setting yourself for failure in the next job. By this time, every boss is present only to make your life miserable! The moment we look at the boss as a person with their own worries and limitations. Trying the best to work out the situation, we respond differently and make a difference not only to you (improve) but also to the relationship (Strengthening professional)
The reasons for justifications to see others as objects include:
- Must be seen as (others must think well of me)
- Better than (I am much better than others)
- I deserve ( I am a victim)
- Worse than (I am bad but was made to be bad)
Once you get you heart in peace, you treat people as people and make our response based on the person we are dealing with, we find ourselves more at peace as well as better relationship with the other person.
Read it. Try it. Make a difference to your life
May your heart be at peace!
“When our hearts are at war, we not only invite failure, we invest in it”
“Collusion: A conflict where the parties are inviting the very things they are fighting against”
“I begin to see Mordechai in ways that justify my self-betrayal. He becomes an object of blame”
“My feelings about Mordechai were not caused by something others had done to me but by something I was doing to Mordechai”
“When I see others as people, on the other hand, then I free myself from the need to focus on the worst that has been done to me. I am free to leave the worst behind me and to see not only the bad but the mixed and good in others as well”
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