Restore and keep the peace
By Jean Ricot Dormeus
For seven years, two brothers, Bert and Al, had written each other off following a disagreement over the sharing of their parents’ estate. They were engaging in a bitter fight in the courts while a few properties were going to the dogs. Frustrations and conflicts loomed large, causing a deep rift in the family. The cost and emotional wreck of their falling out was staggering. The older brother, Bert, reasoned that good relationships are worth more than short-term victories. He forgave his younger brother and facilitated a settlement. His gesture triggered a process of healing that brought back peace and harmonious relationships.
Restoring and keeping peace results from valuing relationships, as well as understanding motives and showing empathy. Unchecked emotions and past wounds often stand in the way of living well with others. When we assess our feelings, expectations and biases, we get to a position where we develop strategies for win-win solutions.
According to the Peace Alliance, every $1 invested in peacebuilding carries a potential $16 reduction in the cost of conflict. However, in 2016, the financial resources devoted to avert violence and consolidate peace constituted a mere 2% of the total cost of conflict.
Conflicts are costly and destructive, peace is the best environment to pursue and reach our goals, develop ourselves, and bolster our well-being. As for any good thing, peace doesn’t come without desire and effort. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
Bert led the way to peace with his brother Al. He showed that it takes some level of goodwill and appreciation for harmonious relationships to overcome the obstacles to peace. Have you had a rift with someone? Isn’t it time to take a page from Bert’s book to restore and keep peace?
Jean Ricot Dormeus
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