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In a world of diversity, is it really possible to coexist without conflict?

We live in a world composed of various people, ideas, cultures, etc, which sometimes are locked in a web of conflicting interests, yet it is conventionally expected that peace should reign. Given the reality of the world we live in, is it still plausible to expect peace and harmony?

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    Oct 30 2012: A related question that might have some bearing on the answer is whether people are inclined to coexist without conflict even within communities WITHOUT significant cultural diversity. How much of the conflicts we see have to do with issues like needing to be right or lashing out angrily in frustration at one thing or another?

    People may have a choice to contain their anger at others but some people, I think, enjoy fighting, winning, dominating others...

    I have noticed that many people enjoy a 'them' and 'us' dynamic so much that they convince themselves and try to convince others of great differences that objectively speaking are negligible.
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      Oct 30 2012: I agree Fritzie!
      Many of the conflicts we observe are situations where people need to be right, or are lashing out angrily in frustration. I agree that some people may enjoy fighting, winning, and dominating others. My belief and practice, is, if there are enough people who refuse to fight, and prefer to use conflict resolution, then the "fighters" have no one to fight with. If, as a global society, more and more people learn conflict resolution, I believe it encourages others to use that method, rather than fighting.
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        Oct 30 2012: I would still count it as fighting when an aggressor victimizes those who refuse to fight back or cannot fight back.
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          Oct 30 2012: I count it as fighting too Fritzie. All I'm saying is that I believe it to be possible to resolve our conflicts in a way other than fighting. I believe we can learn from our diversity, rather than fighting against each other because of diversity.
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          Nov 4 2012: Hi Fritzie,
          "I would still count it as fighting when an aggressor victimizes those who refuse to fight back or cannot fight back." You raise excellent points. Aggression and domination are the marks of ignorance.
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        Oct 30 2012: Yes, I doubt anyone would deny that we learn from our diversity in every interaction. What's more, great creative achievements have often arisen at and from crossroads of cultures.

        The question I meant to raise was whether diversity is the actual reason for conflict or rather an excuse for actions motivated by a taste for domination or for 'spoils' unrelated to diversity.
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          Oct 30 2012: Another good point Fritzie!
          I personally do not believe diversity is always the cause of conflict. I have observed some people who live life from a place of anger and fear, who seem to act/react from a need for the perception of domination. These folks will create and/or encourage conflict at every turn. We even see that behavior here on TED at times....do we not?

          I think you insightfully addressed this in your first comment, when you stated...
          "I have noticed that many people enjoy a 'them' and 'us' dynamic so much that they convince themselves and try to convince others of great differences that objectively speaking are negligible."
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          Oct 30 2012: I agree with Coleen it is more about the individual and how they address communication. There are 3 ways of dealing with others.

          The lowest is out of fear and the least trustworthy and most dangerous as there main goal is to render you less dangerous.

          The next higher is out of anger which of course is to stop you.

          The highest is through communication through which you and Colleen are great examples as are many people a stellar example I see is the diplomat on a recent TED talk Rory Stewart.

          Using Rory as an example especially in his first talk:

          http://www.ted.com/talks/rory_stewart_time_to_end_the_war_in_afghanistan.html

          The ability to handle others through communication stems from an ability to look at force without being intimidated. Rory has a lot of this ability, which imo allows him to see the situation as it is. Taking his cue it appears to be a matter of having the ability to stay at a level of communication with someone who wants to deal with you from a view of fear or anger.
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        Oct 30 2012: "it appears to be a matter of having the ability to stay at a level of communication with someone who wants to deal with you from a view of fear or anger."

        I agree with this, Pat. It also helps to know when to walk away.
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          Oct 30 2012: Pat and Fritzie,
          To expand on your comments...

          We can nurture the skills and ability to stay at a level of communication with someone else, AND/OR, I also believe it is a matter of staying with a communication in a way that we, as individuals want to communicate. When someone is communicating with anger and disrespect, which stem from fear, a common reaction is to respond in the same way. We have a choice of getting pulled into THEIR script, or following our own script......so to speak.

          We can certainly have different cultures, conflicting interests and ideas AND still be respectful with our interactions. It is not the differences that cause disrespect and discontent. It is the people who choose to orchestrate their lives in that way, as you both have insightfully brought to light.

          And yes Fritzie, I totally agree that it helps to know when to walk away. That is why I said in a previous comment..."My belief and practice, is, if there are enough people who refuse to fight, and prefer to use conflict resolution, then the "fighters" have no one to fight with".

          How many times do you think people who fight to be right, want to dominate, etc. would continue their destructive behavior if there was no one following their script? Perhaps they might get the idea that respectful communications are much more interesting and enjoyable?
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          Oct 30 2012: Another way of staying at a level of communication is to be cheerful that way you are not a threat so no one feels the need to deal with you. Again Rory is a stellar example of this, especially when he has a conversation with someone who 18 months earlier was trying to shoot him and then asks him the question why did you try to shoot me?, the response it was based on a bet.

          By virtue of the fact that Rory is still alive tells me that he is not aiming for the next Darwin award and knows when to walk, but more importantly knows how to take a calculated risk, which imo is much more important skill.

          This guy is giving an excellent diagnosis of a situation, that we are bombarded with PR about, why we should... all of it based on an agenda. Strictly from a financial point of view but also and more importantly how to do something that I scoff at when Bush talked about it or Obama for that matter. I believe it stems from his ability to communicate and confront to see things as they are.
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          Nov 4 2012: I agree Pat, that another way of staying at a level of communication that is respectful is to be cheerful. Not only is "cheerful" usually respectful, it is also much more enjoyable for ALL participants....unless we are being cheerful when another person wants to be grouchy of course....that really ticks people off sometimes, and that is THEIR issue!
          I'll look at that video you posted the link for.....finally have time to do so today:>)
  • Oct 29 2012: Your brand of peace may not be the same as another persons. What you feel is right maybe wrong to another person.
    When we learn to accept what others do & feel & they, in turn, do the same for us, then you will have a new form of peace. The harmony part is another whole different issue.
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    Oct 29 2012: Statistically factually speaking the world has never had less conflict.
    • Oct 29 2012: Indeed. Conflict is inevitable but conflict does not have to mean war.
  • Oct 30 2012: Expect is perhaps the wrong word.

    For all the reasons you identify, and countless others, the potential for conflict is always present when two or more humans live close enough to permit interaction.

    There are two choices. To find a civilized way to peacefully coexist and constantly work towards this goal, or to fight at every opportunity with each other. The former is a constant struggle with imperfect results and success is determined by trust rather than might. The latter leads to destruction of our species.

    There have been many wars where a choice was made to opt for destruction rather than work for peaceful coexistence.However, societies have also flourished when the work required for civilization was accomplished. As is evidenced by the happenings around the world, the struggle continues.

    Those of us willing to do the work required for peaceful coexistence can only hope that cultures around the world will also continue to opt for this struggle and realize the eventual outcome of not trying to live peacefully.

    I think world peace and harmony will always be a hope, not an expectation.
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      Oct 30 2012: Good point Robert, regarding the use of the word "expect". That feels like it puts the possibility outside ourselves. I believe that as individuals, we all need to "BE" what we want to "SEE" in our world.

      I am confused by your statement..."Those of us willing to do the work required for peaceful coexistence can only hope that cultures around the world will also continue to opt for this struggle and realize the eventual outcome of not trying to live peacefully."

      We can "only hope that cultures around the world will also continue to opt for this struggle"?

      On another note...
      You live in VA....apparently you are safe from hurricane sandy? That part of the world got hammered pretty bad, based on what I've seen on the news. I'm in Northern Vt., and we've been getting high winds and rain...lots of people without power in south and central Vt.
      • Oct 30 2012: Collen,

        My point with that statement was to identify that both sides of a conflict must work towards peaceful resolution, otherwise fighting will occur. I called it a struggle because negotiation, concessions, agreements, trust, fairness, and honoring agreements takes effort and is a continual struggle.

        Lots of wind and rain, but the closest I came to a 911 call was when the TV remote was out of reach. We had power the whole time. I live about 1 miles inland. We have seen much worse in the past,
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          Oct 31 2012: Thanks Robert,
          I was not understanding that you were using "struggle" to describe negotiation, concessions, agreements, trust, fairness and honoring agreements, etc. I think the process of negotiation and acceptance is enjoyable, so I did not relate it to the word "struggle".....guess that is why I served as a mediator! To me, the process of understanding and accepting each other is a pleasure, rather than a struggle, and I totally agree that it takes the cooperation and participation of both sides to see results:>)

          Glad you were safe from the storm. It was not as bad as predicted here. There are still about 8,000 without power in Vt., and apparently, as soon as our emergency teams have taken care of everyone in this state, they are headed to NY....those who are not needed here right now are already in NY.
    • Nov 5 2012: Very good point Robert.

      I recently watched a documentary about the Renaissance. The Renaissance art produced in Florence was a means for the powerful families to display their power, much like a gorilla beating his chest. Peaceful conflict resolution can be wonderful. (Of course, there were also some assassination attempts, some of them successful.)
  • Oct 30 2012: "Conflict" can mean many things. Diversity assures that we will always have conflicting points of view and conflicting values.

    Conflict can be resolved without violence. More and more people are learning this lesson and how valuable it is. Violence will continue to wane. Peace will one day be the norm, even it never reaches 100%.

    As for harmony, IMO, complete harmony would be boring. One of the characteristics that I value in my personal relationships is challenge.
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      Oct 30 2012: The pursuit of harmony IS the challenge.
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      Nov 4 2012: Complete harmony is -ultimately- what all humans wish for. The best illustration of my point is music.... we can all learn a lot from musicians.

      "The pursuit of harmony IS the challenge" and infinitely more fulfilling and exhilarating than any other.
      • Nov 4 2012: "what all humans wish for"

        In at least one case, my own, you are simply wrong.
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          Nov 5 2012: Dear Barry,Sorry to hear that. If harmony is not your goal, what is your wish then?
      • Nov 5 2012: "One of the characteristics that I value in my personal relationships is challenge."
      • Nov 6 2012: A challenge as in:

        I am logical; my wife is amazingly intuitive.

        I am good at business communications; my wife is poetic.

        My wife and I both have a great deal of "common sense" but we often disagree and have to combine our thinking to find the right way to approach a situation.

        My ideas about ethics are complicated and hierarchical, sometimes based on the common good and sometimes firmly based on individual rights. I try my best to explain ethical matters with consistency and logic. My wife's ethics are simple, she knows what is right and wrong and will gladly tell you.

        I prefer detailed plans; to my wife, a written plan of more than four lines is a waste of time.

        My wife absolutely loves to say "I told you so". I find these words childish and try my very best to avoid them, especially when they are aimed at me.

        These differences mean that my wife and I often disagree and must take the time to really listen to each other. Sometimes we just agree to disagree. If the issue is a project, we have to find a consensus in order to proceed. This is what I call a challenging relationship. I also have had challenging relationships with other family members and with coworkers. My son and stepdaughter are both smarter than I am. I enjoy this aspect of a relationship.

        The value is not the pursuit of harmony, but the challenge of communicating and working with people who approach situations in ways that are very different from my own approach.

        I hope this clears up my meaning.

        Some people seek balance in life. I prefer life to be like skating. When skating you are always off balance, constantly adjusting your movements to go in the desired direction.
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          Nov 6 2012: Glad to know you didn't mean challenges of the fourth type..... phew. Everything you wrote proves the statement that is so eloquently put forth here by Wade Crum;

          " The pursuit of harmony IS the challenge ".

          In my earlier example: music to noise..when we have one note, we can perfect it's duration, loudness, timbre and even frequency. With practice we can create decent noise even useful sometimes (morse code) but what kind of melody can we hope for??

          We need variation (diversity) and it is when we have a few different notes that we can play a piece of music. Imagine having all the notes and every instrument. Then we can play a magnificent symphony!!

          This is why I said (above) I think we can do much better than "co-existing" and tolerating each other. Via TED, as an example, we are already enjoying blessings that only come from superb relationships!! As another example, the pleasure you draw from being married ( united towards the same goal and end result = harmony) vs. divorced ( going towards divergent goals and end results = disharmony). So at the end of the day, with all your differences you love your wife and she loves you. And you are not only not upset that your children maybe smarter than you but you are willing to admit to it, let them be and perhaps even support them. Sounds to me like you are blessed with soul mates, enjoying the challenge of pooling diversity in pursuit of harmony -------Speaking of which, it is time to go vote to shape our country.
  • Nov 10 2012: What is missing in this discussion is the role of religion. What do you say to people who believe that their prophet is the one and only "true" prophet? When there is peace and harmony amongst all the great religions, only then will there be peace and harmony world wide.
    • Nov 12 2012: Sorry but I galdy disagree. I believe everyone has the right to their religion, but that people should keep religious belief's seperate from government. Reason being I don't think should pass laws based on loosely interpreted religious belief's. Ex the Bible makes rules saying women are inferior, and should never have sex before marriage. Yet the man can take as many wifes as he wants as long as he get's the fathers premission. How they was no mention of divorce or text specifically saying gay was wrong. They do however mention that not wearing linen is a sinful along with working on sbbath.

      King Henry the 8th made the Church of England, and wrote text depicting him as a holy prophet (godlike) and no one shall disobey his word for he is royality and has been blessed by god to rule.

      Last and final point remember how Hilter motivated the hatred and Genocide of Jews, though a relegious belief the people born with blonde hair,blue eyes, and white skin are blessed by god and how judism are evil and unpure.

      Point is that people tend to lose there ethics when they believe they have divine rights.
  • Nov 9 2012: The issue is not about regarding conflict as a negative in the good/bad sense but in a directional sense. Conflict drives us towards or away from a particular position, this is the actuator for diversity...what we should do is recognise that we are attempting to contain diversity on a rapidly diminishing plane and that, although this will not extinguish 'conflict'; and we should not wish for that as without diversity and its prompt: conflict, we will only be left with stagnation, we must look to a human diaspora..collectively focus on the ways and means of spreading off planet.
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    Nov 5 2012: I think we can do much better than "co-existing"....we are enjoying blessings that only come from superb relationships!
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      Nov 5 2012: I agree Juliette, that we can do better than simply "co-existing". We can all learn to enjoy the blessings that only come from superb relationships.....well said:>)
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    Nov 1 2012: Utopically... yes. That means, in reality, no.

    As far as I see it, no conflicts is based in indeference. Indiference is only possible in inexistence.

    As an example, any family. Everybody loves everybody, but there are always conflicts. Extrapolated to humanity it is exponential.
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    Oct 30 2012: Conflict is human nature. When we are not in conflict with man, animal, or nature, we are in conflict with ourselves. There's a real nice book out there that guides us on how to tolerate these conflicts. It teaches, forgiveness, compassion, humility, faith, trust, hope, honesty, and that there exists something greater than the self. It teaches self governance based on moral values. It tells us not to judge unless we are pure of sin.

    You see my friends, life doesn't have to be so complicated.
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      Oct 31 2012: Are you referring to Dale Carnagie's HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE?
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        Nov 4 2012: Nice try. My book was written long before the birth of Dale Carnagie. Carnagie's one smart man, but if you think his ideas originate from thin air then you clearly reject his growth from childhood to adult.
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          Nov 5 2012: OK. Bad guess. Are you referring to The Holy Bible?
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    Oct 30 2012: After reading many of the exchanges below about refusing to fight .... the question kept coming back to me ... what is worth fighting for?

    In real life the person who refuses to fight is dominated and called lunch money.

    If you go to jail or prison and refuse to stand up for yourself, the staff will place you in protective custody because many bad things will occur.

    Conflict is not always a bad thing. Just like anything else when taken to excessive levels does it become bad.
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      Oct 31 2012: Facts of life Bob. Compared to peace and harmony I think conflict is a bad thing. Compared to injustice, bullying, and mean-spirited tyrants, I think conflict is a courageous choice. My experience is limited to this world and thus far conflict has been a regular part of it all. I have very high hopes for the next world!
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        Oct 31 2012: I wholeheartedly agree that give a choice and all things being equal .. peace is the hands down winner. However as we agree that evil does exist ... I am not ready to beat all of my swords into plow shares.

        Always a pleasure conversing with you. Bob.
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          Nov 5 2012: Walk softly Bob, but carry a big stick.
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          Nov 5 2012: Dear Robert, I was merely quoting from Edward's comment above. I found it quite insightful (partly) ; specifically when he said "Compared to peace and harmony I think conflict is a bad thing. Compared to injustice, bullying, and mean-spirited tyrants, I think conflict is a courageous choice." So I gave his comment a "thumbs up".
          By reading the rest of his writing, I was saddened to see that he had "lost faith in current affairs, hope for the future generations or for all eternity". So I sent him "lol" for the part I quoted. My intention was to send him love, which was lost in translation and missed, since apparently "lol" can be used to abbreviate so many different words. I am new, so I am learning all the time..
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        Nov 4 2012: - Good tool - "Compared to peace and harmony I think conflict is a bad thing. Compared to injustice, bullying, and mean-spirited tyrants, I think conflict is a courageous choice" - weighing and balancing is essential.
        Edward, I am saddened to read your writing " I have high hopes for the next world "so I send you lots of love. This is a "glass half full " world and there is no guarantees the next will be a "full glass" ( although we hope so). Remember how we've been excited for ten thousand years to go there....and now that we landed on the second one, there is nothing but barren red sand. We are rejoicing at a self portrait ( of rover 'curiosity'). Keep a warm heart !! Feel good here and now.
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          Nov 5 2012: It is not apparent to me why that statement causes you to laugh out loud. I hope it is a joyous laughter.
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          Nov 5 2012: Juliette, Have you lost faith in the current affairs, hope for future generations, or for all eternity. Your comment intriges me and I therefore seek an answer.

          Thanks Bob.
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          Nov 5 2012: Juliette, Welcome to TED where you have a equal voice and will certainly be read and questioned. I think that is one of the real beauties of TED. I submit something and get a totally different take from someone else. Do not take offense as TED is like a family we can argue and lots of disagreement but we still respect each other and their opinions. I learn something new everyday.

          Hope to hear from you often .... and again welcome ...

          All the best. Bob.
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    Oct 30 2012: I foresee a world without major conflict in the near future. As soon as religions die out and science is allowed to be heard, the answer is already available. When science can be heard, systemic problems will be erased.
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    Oct 30 2012: Yes。

    It is possible if we really understand the goal of our life is to keep our DNA alive rather than to pursue INVALID HAPPINESS.
  • Oct 29 2012: It is not possible to co-exist in a world of diversity without conflict. Just as laws may reduce crime rate but will never bring it to an end.
    Ethnocentrism is something that we hardly notice in ourselves but would easily point out in other people. And there would always be people who would take their ethnocentrism towards extremism and intolerance.

    However this doesn't mean we should not make efforts towards the noble ideas of world peace and harmony; but we should be aware that the freedom to choose also presents the possibility of making the wrong choice.
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      Oct 29 2012: Feyisayo,
      If we, as individuals, are genuinely making efforts toward peace and harmony, have freedom to choose, are aware, mindful and have good intent, what could possibly be a "wrong" choice?
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        Oct 29 2012: Hi Colleen,

        There are indeed many people who make great efforts towards peace and harmony. We cannot overlook, however, that there are many people who make great efforts towards war and division.

        I tend to agree with Feyisayo. I am an optimist in terms of what the humans have potential for, but i am realist when it comes to evaluate the current state of affairs. In this long road, we should not keep our eyes from the target, but we should prevent our feet from tripping us too

        In today's world, even in the most advanced democracies, freedom is quite limited. One is free to vote for one of a handful of candidates, but one is not free to propose a different candidate altogether... One is free to chose between 10 brands of cereal, but more and more, one is not free to buy cereal from the local shop as opposed to the big mart. One is not free to live where one lives without subjecting himself to the state.

        Even when one is "free" to choose... our subconscious still plays a key role in coloring our decisions. In a very real sense, we are not purely rational and freely choosing agents, but every day we navigate to the best of our abilities through this complex process that is decision making

        I like many of the libertarian ideals. Personal responsibility, minimal intrusion by the state, etc etc. But as i have said in other posts... those ideals can only work when the population shares a very homogeneous set of values and ideologies. Which is not the case in modern societies. That is when a third party needs to mediate interactions.

        But we will keep trying, do not ever doubt it!

        cheers
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          Oct 30 2012: Andres,
          I agree that there are many people in our world who create peace and harmony. I do not overlook war and division, nor am I unable or unwilling to consider the current state of affairs. I am very aware of what is happening in our world.

          The question is..."In a world of diversity, is it really possible to coexist without conflict?"

          Yes, I believe it IS possible. I suggest that if we are more aware in ourselves, we are aware of the subconscious, and as thinking, feeling humans we CAN be more rational as we navigate decision making.

          That being said, your comment is a response to my question, for which I do not see an answer.

          "If we, as individuals, are genuinely making efforts toward peace and harmony, have freedom to choose, are aware, mindful and have good intent, what could possibly be a "wrong" choice?"
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        Oct 30 2012: Hi again Colleen!

        I agree with you in saying that yes it is possible. I too, try to get to a more aware state and think that it is the key to a more peaceful tomorrow.

        I guess i made my answer more convoluted that it needed to be. Yes it was intended as a (sort of) response to your question at the same time as a reaffirmation of your proposed solution. I guess I was trying to add the point that we can genuinely make efforts towards peace and harmony, have good intents, but as humans that we are (somewhat limited by the nature of our evolved brains and mind) we are only partially aware, and have some limited freedom to choose.

        A honest recognition of these two limitations I think is a key to begin to overcome them and start moving in the direction that you have indicated

        cheers!
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          Oct 30 2012: Hi again Andres!
          You and Feyisayo seem to be saying yes we can....BUT....

          Feyisayo:
          ."However this doesn't mean we should not make efforts towards the noble ideas of world peace and harmony; but we should be aware that the freedom to choose also presents the possibility of making the wrong choice"

          Andres:
          "I tend to agree with Feyisayo. I am an optimist in terms of what the humans have potential for, but i am realist when it comes to evaluate the current state of affairs"

          Andres:
          "I guess I was trying to add the point that we can genuinely make efforts towards peace and harmony, have good intents, but as humans that we are (somewhat limited by the nature of our evolved brains and mind) we are only partially aware, and have some limited freedom to choose."

          I simply like to say.....YES WE CAN:>)
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        Oct 30 2012: Indeed Colleen, you are an example for us in what a positive attitude should be. We are getting there a bit more slowly i guess, but i think we are walking in the same direction

        Let me explain why my answer is almost invariably YES, BUT...

        In my mind, "yes we can" is somewhat equivalent to "yes but". I think the former traces the path towards a goal and looks at the steps that need to be followed. The later looks at the goal, and then turns every rock to outline every thinkable pitfall, in order for others (like yourself) to provide ways to avoid or overcome such pitfalls

        It must have something to do with my scientific formation. Science advances by finding what it is NOT, and painfully and patiently weeding out all those paths that do not lead to the ultimate destination. I have found throughout my life that I learn more when i fail than when i succeed. And so i embrace failure.

        But i don't think my path looks very different from yours

        cheers
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          Oct 30 2012: Dear Andres,
          You are a good example for us as well!

          And I will explain my perception of "yes we can". My perception, is that when I evaluate and anticipate every pitfall, it is using energy that can actually carry me toward the goal. I am aware of the possibility of challenges, and am aware that I may have to face challenges, AND I do not give the challenges energy until I have to. Turning every rock and thinking about every possible pitfall uses energy, in my perception, so I do not give the challenges the energy until needed:>) Sometimes, we spend a lot of time and energy on some possibilities that never materialize.

          We all have different ways of learning and facing challenges. Do you think/feel this has something to do with left brain or right brain dominant? Our paths only look different to ourselves and each other, AND apparently, we are seeking the same destination:>)

          I very rarely perceive "failure" (maybe never), because my perception is that life is an exploration. With that in mind, nothing can be a failure, and everything is a step toward a goal...an exploration of the life adventure:>)
      • Oct 30 2012: Colleen, I still believe that we have to look realistically at issues rather than glossing over them and putting a positive spin on them. We live in a world where we cant even agree on what is morally and ethically right and what is morally and ethically wrong. We live in a world filled with love and hatred and things in between.
        There are so many people of integrity in the world; but there are also sycophants and hypocrites who say all the nice things to gain public approval but are motivated by their selfish agenda.
        We can all make the choice to live in peace and harmony; but IT IS A CHOICE, and since it is, unless we all become robots, not everybody will make that right choice.
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          Oct 30 2012: Feyisayo,
          I am not "glossing over" anything. Of course there are different people in our world. We do not need to be a "robot" to make good choices Feyisayo. We are thinking, feeling, evolving, multi-sensory, multi-dimensional humans. If you want to be gloom and doom...so be it. I believe that it is indeed possible to coexist without conflict because that is how I live my life:>)

          I cannot speak for everyone Fayisayo, I can only speak for myself, as each and every one of us CAN and WILL DO!
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    Oct 29 2012: Absolutely! Diversity is a gift we give each other and ourselves, IF/WHEN we recognize that possibility! I LOVE interacting and learning from people who have different beliefs.....I would not deny myself that opportunity:>) Rather than "expecting" peace and harmony, each of us as individuals, can CREATE peace and harmony....or not.....it's a choice:>)
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    Oct 29 2012: My brother and I shared a bed, which required us to have a karate line down its center, and with that rule, we shunned many of fights. Two diverse beings living at opposites ends of space and dogmas can live completely happy lives and yet take to brothers almost the same in all ways but stuck together will collided. The point is proximity causes conflict and that is inevitable with this species.

    My brother and I are better men for conflict prevailed as boys. I went looking for this idea in Ted and found it here: http://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_heffernan_dare_to_disagree.html

    Please avoid wars with separation.