Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Encountering Conflict - what does it mean?

The first thing you have to do is form your own understanding of what the Context, "Encountering Conflict" means. The dictionary seems like a good place to start.

en⋅coun⋅ter (verb)
1. to come upon or meet with, esp. unexpectedly: to encounter a new situation.
2. to meet with or contend against (difficulties, opposition, etc3. to meet (a person, military force, etc.) in conflict.
4. to meet, esp. unexpectedly or in conflict.

conflict (noun)
1. a fight, battle, or struggle, esp. a prolonged struggle; strife.
2. controversy; quarrel: conflicts between parties.
3. discord of action, feeling, or effect; antagonism or opposition, as of interests or principles: a conflict of ideas.
4. a striking together; collision.
5. incompatibility or interference, as of one idea, desire, event, or activity with another: a conflict in the schedule.
6. Psychiatry. a mental struggle arising from opposing demands or impulses.

You can broaden your understanding of the term by looking further afield - perhaps famous quotes. Here's one. Why are most the quotes on the web by Americans?

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) - President of the United States
We see conflict as a positive dimension in our everyday lives and a life without encountering conflict would deprive us of creative energy, impetus for progress and the opportunity to deepen our experience in life. However, the important thing is to be able to deal with the emotions which arise in ourselves and in others when faced with conflict.

The best thing I like about this quote is that it establishes that encountering conflict isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The media is also an obvious place to look for current conflicts. Grab a newspaper or visit one of their websites. What type of conflicts are currently occurring? Afghanistan. Yet conflict encompasses more than war. What is the most prominent issue being reported in the news this week? What type of conflicts have arisen out of this issue? Who is experiencing the conflict?

Personal experiences
Perhaps a better way to start is to reflect on conflicts you have either witnessed or been involved in.

We are just beginning. So much to discuss. Paradise Road and the background to it- World War 2. Lets' not forget the main aim - some fantastic writing from you people in response to a prompt on Encountering Conflict. Imaginative? Expository? Persuasive?

A part of the course where you have some choice - you've got to love that!

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