by Anastasia Rosen Jones
I must maintain awareness, if I am to give the best of myself to my committment to peace.
Today I am still thinking through how a recent presentation my volunteers and myself made for the UNESCO Center For Peace Model United Nations camp (Friday, July 23, 2010) turned out; polarized into harmony.
It was our third annual presentation of this program, "Conflict Resolution and Anger Management #101." Our earlier two presentations of this same basic format turned out excellently.
This one was difficult. The challenge was that 1/3 of our audience spoke only Chinese (through an interpeter) and the rest of us (U.S.A., Brazil, Columbia, India, Mexico, South Korea) spoke only English.
As the moderator, speaking only English myself, after awhile I found myself and the program in a "puddle of polarization." Not a really drowning one, but certainly one from which we had to push and tug to get ourselves out. For awhile we seemed to be heading into a storm. So today I am reviewing.
What were the difficulties? How could they have been avoided? How did we finally turn things around? What were the elements that allowed that? I think the qualities that are always needed for solving problems, small or large, local or global were our strengths here; we had a willing group that worked together to create "elegant solutions."
Elegant Solutions are those that are co-created by thinking outside the box.
Elegant Solutions always have a built in win-win outcome.
Elegant Slutions are based on seeking to understand, rather than to be understood.
Elegant Solutions are based on believing that there is no scarcity.
And, how were these elements different than the earlier efforts my organization attempted to bridge local differences between Jews and Muslims?
These are worthwhile considerations for me today as a community development trainer.
The ability to co-create "slegant solutions" on the spot with a willing group of teens committed to peace is probably the essential element.
However, for now I must keep an open mind so I can learn and keep improving myself as a trainer