Conflict resolution is not necessarily about the answers that you receive but the questions that you ask. Before resolution of any problem can be had, one has to fully understand the issues that are creating the conflict. The starting point in conflict resolution is to understand your antagonist’s position and to clearly inform your antagonist of what your issues are.  Analyzing this context of the four-way test reveals the following.
Is it the truth – only after you and your antagonist have laid your proverbial cards on the table can true resolution be had. If you are not forthright, how can your antagonist fully comprehend your problems, your issues? The same is true of him or her.
And it goes without saying the resolution that is reached has to be fair not only to you but the other party as well – otherwise why would either party agree to the resolution?  The process of resolution must be done rationally and without rancor to ensure the parties don’t leave angry with one another, otherwise it is likely they may well re-engage in conflict again.  And if the resolution of the conflict is not beneficial to all concerned, but only to the leaders or the owners and not the people in general, there has been no true resolution of the conflict because resentments will still remain.
Which brings us to why peace and conflict resolution is so important to us as Rotarians. We envision world peace; we envision a world where peoples settle their differences in boardrooms and not on battlefields. If we accomplish nothing else, what greater gift could we give our world? The ways we go about this are just as myriad as the different types of people we are. I’ll name a few. We educate peace scholars, we exchange our young people with those of foreign lands, we alleviate poverty, we provide educational opportunities, we help heal the sick, we create job opportunities, and we make friends of those who might otherwise be our enemies. Our history shows us that disadvantaged peoples are more likely to create conflicts and wreck the peace we now enjoy. After all, if one is starving while his neighbor gets fat, the likelihood of the starving one to lash out grows exponentially with each passing day.  So, we must continue these efforts toward world peace. And we do so by continuing to lend helping hands so that one day, no one has unmet needs and everyone has equitable opportunities for advancement. After all, it is the right thing to do if we truly are Rotarians at heart.
Yours in Rotary
DG Mike