Humans are pretty diverse creatures. We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds, geographies, histories, traditions, and personalities.
I’d like to believe that this isn’t by accident; that diversity is part of the grand design of the universe. Many religious belief systems as well as evolutionary biology argue that diversity is a key to surviving and thriving.
Diversity is great until two or more people are trying to get something done together. Diversity among humans means there will be different perspectives, values, ways of thinking, and even filters through which we see the world. So there’s a good chance that conflict will arise.
If diversity is good, then the conflict that arises from diversity must have a positive purpose as well. So why do humans use diversity and conflict as weapons?
What if the purpose of conflict is to create? What if one of the intentions of diversity is that we will have conflict, so that we will have energy to create new and better things?
We define conflict simply as a gap between what we want and what we are experiencing at any point in time. This conflict is neither good nor bad, but it does generate energy. As humans, we’ve been given an amazing gift, the gift of diversity and the energy of conflict to create new things. We get to choose how we want to use that energy.
Drama is what happens when we use that energy to destroy, divide, distance and alienate. Compassion is what happens when we use that same energy to restore connection and struggle together to create something new and better.
Here’s a simple method we have developed at Next Element.
Things to Ponder
- When was the last time you used conflict as weapon, against yourself or someone else?
- What could you accomplish at work or at home if you adopted a Compassion Mindset and used conflict as a creative force instead?
- What would be different if you viewed diversity as a positive source of energy to create something new and better?