Day 10: Rage Machine

Dear J-

I’ll come right out and say it: why this Conflict Management isn’t either a longer class nor mandatory doesn’t make a ton of sense to me; today felt rushed to accomodate a schedule, but there was still so much more to be learned — this is life, after all. Now all I need is lessons in how to convince your three year old that bedtime isn’t punishment. The class was eye-opening in terms of philosophy and how they should inform your actions. It all stems from a fundamental belief that we need to know ourselves — and therefore what we can control; from there we work to control our reactions into measured response and quiet resolve.

I can help others better by understanding what they want and trying to figure out a mutually beneficial solution. To paraphrase a story, two girls who want the same orange split it in half. One, disgusted with the other, eats the fruit and discards the peel but stays hungry — the full orange would have been sufficient; the other, disgusted with the one, zests the peel and discards the fruit angrily, without enough for her recipe, the dish won’t turn out right. They both wanted the orange, but wouldn’t there have been a happier scene if they had talked out why?

It seems like common sense, doesn’t it? For the most part, too, it is; you need to realize that there’s nothing magical about conflict management. And that’s the beauty of it; there are no secrets, only real tools anyone can use. I look at my life with new eyes tonight, how easily I’ve allowed myself to slip into rage without realizing what or how I react. If it’s as simple as knowing who I turn into when I’m angry, and being disgusted by that face in the mirror, then everyone should take the course. We’ve ended each week so far on high notes; future weeks have high standards to uphold.



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