In Gibraltar, I witnessed an accident where a child was fooling around, fell off a wall and landed on his head. He became completely hysterical. It transpired, much later, that his distress was not from the pain of the fall, but from his belief – based on a film he had seen where a similar incident had occurred – that he was going to die from his injury. The parents tried to soothe the boy but soon grew annoyed with his continuous crying. Finally they became angry demanding that he stop crying. They did not actually ask him why he was so upset, they just assumed it was from the pain of the fall. They therefore didn’t understand what the problem was, and were unable to calm their child down.
Listen to what your children have to say. Respect that they have their own thoughts and ideas.
No matter how similar people are, we are all unique. There will always be some ideas, issues, situations etc. on which we disagree. This is to be expected. Conflict in itself is not bad. Knowing how to deal with it, is what counts. If we know how to cope with conflict, we will learn to be less fearful of it, and so not try to avoid it. This creates healthier, more harmonious relationships.
In this talk I focus on the fundamental skills and attitudes you need to deal with conflict and understand that, contrary to popular belief, dealing with disagreement or conflict is far more important to a relationship than not having disagreement or conflict at all.
During my travels in North America, I travelled across the border into Canada. One of the cities I visited was Montreal, where I was struck by the beauty of the architecture. What made this city special, however, was that while it was obviously a bustling metropolis with the mandatory high rise buildings, glass, steel and concrete, these modern structures were often found next to beautiful old buildings, dating back to the city’s early days. And instead of jarring, old and new existed in perfect harmony, creating a unique skyline which captured both the proud past and exiciting future of this amazing city.
The life lesson here is that we don’t always have to get rid the old to make way for the new. There can be space for both – be it buildings, ideas or people – to live in harmony with, and complement, each other.