Although many might complain that their household is no different then an insane asylum, having a “conflicted” household could present a perfect opportunity in achieving conflict resolution; the sort of resolution that could be applied to the “bigger picture”. Family provides the perfect stage to deal with differences, change, and conflict. In essence, the household is a microcosm of nations at large.
Society is notorious for disagreements, struggle for power, ignorance and competition of resources (such as wealth and status). For ages, theorists such as Thomas Hobbes and Karl Marx have examined the theory behind conflict. If we peel through the layers to discover the root-creation, look no further then the family dinner table.
Common issues regarding the family & world- stem from power, resource availability, and ignorance:
Regarding power– the ego has defined status to each member of the family. How often do we hear the following, “Since I’m older, I deserve more respect” OR “Since I’m younger, the elders should be more responsible”? The ego has created a false sense of power that impedes communication, making it more difficult to come to a consensus. The symptoms of status- immense vanity, arrogance, self-pity, and anger. The emotions that result from a certain degree of status/ego can result in clouded reason.
Regarding resource availability- how much money, ownership, and land is often used to define the stability of an individual. If one lacks financial stability, they often develop some degree of dependency on other(s). Though dependency can help facilitate trust in a family; being overly dependent can bare burden to the providers. At a certain degree, conflict of interests develop between parties.
Regarding Ignorance- family often mistaken the term similarity for unity. A family unit must be unite, however, each individual is different. Each individual is defined by his/her own experience. Each individual is diverse from one another. Thus, the family must unite each others differences by understanding and respecting the diversity within the unit.
Solutions are a result of:
1. Establishing better communication- there is no one method; but the key to provide chance and availability.
2. Developing empathy and understanding
3. Being motivated to progress forward.
4. Reaching an agreement, or agreeing to disagree…. Maintaining “peace”.