Sunday, January 30, 2011


Each of us have achievements which we are and should be proud of. These achievements are meaningful experiences which are often associated with "life changing events" that contributes to the development of our personal identity. They form the foundations of our self-esteem, giving us the confidence that we are of or can be of value to those we love and care about.

However, pride can be a double edged sword, as it is regrettable that the source of all conflicts is also pride itself. The believe that we are more intelligent, hardworking, richer or happier than others, often lead us to possess the assumptions that others are inferior in some way and should/would somehow benefit from our inputs.

This effectively blinds us from truly empathizing with those around us (preventing us from effectively putting ourselves in the shoes of others). To ensure that we are able to see value in the propositions made by others during times of conflict, it is paramount that we take on a humble spirit, so to truly "listen" to what others have in mind, instead of having the attitude of, "Whatever the other guy propose, mine will definitely be better!" 
This effectively requires us to "Empty our mug", by cleansing ourselves of all preconceived assumptions, before we may be effective in working together towards mutual gains.

Nevertheless, it would be natural that not all conflicts can effectively lead to a solution which has mutual benefits. In such situations, it is alright for one to humbly and respectfully "agree to disagree".

From a practical stand-point, it would wise to apply such principles in situations where you expect the opposing party to have the intentions to work towards mutual gains. Otherwise, you should wisely consider taking the best alternative response, which commonly includes walking away, fostering closer ties before engaging into formal negotiations, or giving in for the sake of long-term relationships, etc.

A humble spirit is also required for us to identify what are the real problems faced by communities we wish to aid, and to guide us in developing an effective approach in educating our beneficiaries of the need we have identified. A need which we identified the beneficiaries may have, may not be a need which the beneficiaries themselves see as true or of sufficient priority to address. In such circumstances, education has to be considered to ensure effective buy-in by the beneficiaries, so to ensure that they put the proposed solution into practice.

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