I was walking my puppy in the park this morning without a leash, as I do every morning. This morning was different from the past in that Mato decided to spark up a hint of rebellion and not listen to his mother. He saw another dog across the park at bolted to see if that dog wanted to play… he didn’t. I ran to catch Mato and when I grabbed his collar the elderly man who was walking the less than friendly dog, raised his voice at me and told me a few derogatory comments about my dog and myself. I don’t really like being “yelled at” by strangers, so my heart was pounding. But I looked up at the man from my hunched over position holding Mato’s collar, looked him in the eyes, smiled, and said “Thank you for your recommendations. Have a good day, Sir.”
Acting with kindness is not always the most easy thing to do. I would have loved to handle the situation in a more aggressive way, but I would not have received the same peaceful feeling that I did as I walked away. One of my professors once told me, “Creating peace is not simply holding hands and singing Kumbayah. Peace is so much more; peace is action.” I could not agree more.
The organizations and individuals who are successful in ending conflict around the world, understand that peace takes a long-term commitment to conflict resolution. This requires infinite amount of strategic planning, talking, acting, and working toward a common goal. The Geneva Accord was an initiative between the Palestinian and Israeli groups to end the conflict between them. The meeting involved educated individuals from both sides of the conflict to gather and discuss the roots of the problem.
Here are the principles for the accord, which helped guide them through the process.
- End of conflict. End of all claims.
- Mutual recognition of Israeli and Palestinian right to two separate states.
- A final, agreed upon border.
- A comprehensive solution to the refugee problem.
- Large settlement blocks and most of the settlers are annexed to Israel, as part of a 1:1 land swap.
- Recognition of the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and recognition of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
- A demilitarized Palestinian state.
- A comprehensive and complete Palestinian commitment to fighting terrorism and incitement.
- An international verification group to oversee implementation.
The establishment of the Accord was not an easy process and involved excruciating compromise and working out the each detail of the conflict. These individuals were committed to ending this long-standing conflict in order to create a better future. I think it is incredible the amount of action it takes to create this phenomenon that we so often associate with inaction.
So here’s your Two Hands Tuesday thought to ponder- can you bring peace to your life or the lives of others? Maybe it is as simple as turning the aggressive words of a stranger in a park around as a rebuttal of kind words.