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When we see all conflict as automatically and only ‘bad’ do we miss the opportunity for change arising from facing the other?
It gets harder by the day to hear the still small voice. There is a stridency in our culture which makes dialogue, the resolution of conflict or even simple understanding increasingly difficult.
Eighty years ago, the conflict in Libya would have been glossed over as a “quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing”. In an age of 24 hour news and of media conscious politicians, we are saturated with images, comment and spin. It is essential to be vigilant about the relationship between the authorised version, what its presentation really tells us and – not least – our own responses to it.
Last week, an elderly man attributed several unpleasing characteristics to me because I was wearing a white poppy. My efforts to engage with him and to explain my reasons came to nothing because he was too angry and upset to listen.