In the world that we have built, noise is confused with engagement and silence is confused with disengagement.
This is a problem, because in silence and disengagement, introspection and self-awareness are found. When the presence of noise is confused with engagement, distraction reigns, bouncing already limited attention from point to point, with seemingly no meaning, no deeper engagement and no resolution.
The presence of silence also implies the presence of being alone, which the modern noise distribution system cannot abide. When noise is a garden hose, limited and coming out at a trickle, opportunities to “be alone” or to “get away for a while” are seemingly unlimited. However, when noise is a fire hose, an endless barrage coming out at a flood, opportunities to “be alone” or “get away for a while” are viewed as precious oases, in a desert of meaninglessness.
What does this all have to do with conflict resolution?
When the noise of the world is turned up to fire hose levels, resolutions are less interesting than continuing a spectacle, avoiding learning, and dancing with immediate gratification. Conflict becomes less a static state of change and transforms into a series of endless emotional lurching from “one damn thing” to another.
Resolving conflicts takes time, attention and emotional “bandwidth” that silence, aloneness, and contemplation on solutions, rather than focusing on problems, brings. The pushback is always that “Well there have always been conflicts” and this is true. But there’s also always been resolutions, rather than a state of endless festering under the surface, encouraged by a fire hose of meaningless noise.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org