Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Conflict leads to oneness

Today I'd like to direct your attention to another fine piece of journalism by moi published this week on How to achieve peace.

The article is about Philip Hellmich, one of the awardees at the International Spirit at Work Awards Conference I attended in October. I learned so much from this guy, not the least of which is to begin to see conflict not at as negative, but as an opportunity for growth.

I have to admit, I'm pretty good at conflict avoidance. I'll put on the happy face with the best of them just to put off any confrontation. But then, suddenly, I'll reach my limit. Unfortunate things subsequently occur.

But the idea of seeing conflict (as Philip's organization Search for Common Ground recommends) as an opportunity to strengthen relationships makes too much spiritual sense for me to ignore. Working through a conflict, listening to the other, seeing them as having a point of view even if you don't agree, can actually bring you closer. To me, what this indicates is the possibility of achieving spiritual oneness even when you aren't the same humanly.

Conflict avoidance notwithstanding, I experienced this a lot when working on the spirituality Website a few years ago. We were a group of incredibly intense and passionate individuals, all top of our fields and aggressive about getting our own way.

Initially there was definitely some "bumping" into each other (as Philip would describe it). But as time went on, and we increasingly unified behind the mission of putting the site visitor first, we could bring our different perspectives to decision-making harmoniously. We got much better at listening to each other and learning enough about each other's disciplines to begin to work in unity. It became the best place in the world to work, with the tightest team making a daily difference in the lives of our customers. We were one, working together as a seamless whole.

To this day, I still can hear my marketing colleague's voice giving advice when I'm considering options about my various Web projects. We're all still close—in fact, I’m working with members of that team on

Conflict seems like it'd be the last thing that would lead to oneness, but as is typical of this mortal seeming, things are not always as they seem. Conflict reveals the potential for oneness. If all the world saw it that way, what kind of world would we have?

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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