August 2019


Chartered Accountant

Confrontation (conflict) will lead to losses on both sides

—Xi Jinping, Chinese President


How true. As a matter of fact, no one has ever won an argument because in the end both winner and loser end up being miserable. Yet the irony is that inherently an individual is always in conflict; the issues are:

  •   a majority of us are in conflict; hence, is conflict a gift from God or is it His curse?
  •   can we humans convert conflict into a gift from God?!


I think we can if we accept the fact that there is conflict. Most of us despite realising the existence of conflict don’t accept, nay, don’t want to accept that there is conflict. The fact is that when there is conflict in our mind and in our life we push it under the carpet and pray that it will fade away rather than face the conflict and attempt to solve it. This is the irony of being human.


Let us accept that conflict is a part of human nature and exists everywhere, leading to stress, unhappiness and a strained mind. Can we learn how to manage conflict? Let us examine a few examples of how some have
managed conflict:


  •   Gandhi experienced conflict in his mind, body and soul when he was discriminated against because of his colour, creed and religion. He accepted the presence of discrimination in society and his solution was non-violence. Even when he was hit, he bore the pain and did not retaliate.
  •   President Kennedy accepted the presence of the Russian armada in the Pacific as conflict and his response was retaliation – a show of power. The result was that he won and the Russians retreated from the Pacific – the famous Cuba affair.
  •   Martin Luther King, Jr. accepted the discrimination that existed in American society despite the promise of equality in the Constitution and the assassination of President Lincoln. His response was Gandhian.
  •   Nelson Mandela accepted discrimination – he suffered pain and was jailed for years and won independence by following Gandhi.
  •   President Nixon created Watergate – he did not accept it and had to resig


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