An Amazing Future Is Becoming Visible Today
The seeds of breakthrough solutions to many of our toughest problems are already visible today in many fields around the world, and they give us tangible hope for our future.
What problems in the world are you especially passionate about? Are you interested in helping end violence and creating a more peaceful world? Solutions to widespread conflict in the world can be seen today in the work of organizations such as Search for Common Ground (sfcg.org) based in Washington D.C., whose approach is to “understand the differences, but act on the commonalities.”
They use multi-stakeholder dialogues with political adversaries to discover higher common ground and mutually beneficial solutions. They use imaginative tools, education, role-playing and creative media such as community-produced television, to defuse conflict and transform it into cooperation. Working in over 80 countries, they’ve found that while conflict is inevitable, violence is not.
Search for Common Ground along with many other groups are also teaching conflict resolution techniques in the schools, as kids are never too young to learn how to avoid fights. Another strategy is using the internet for facilitated, multi-cultural conversations, so young people can engage in constructive, respectful virtual exchanges about controversial matters and learn about other races and cultures. This program increases participants’ cross-cultural empathy and improves skills for cooperation.
United Religions (uri.org), a global grassroots interfaith network, has created over 735 “Cooperation Circles” in 91 countries worldwide to overcome religious and cultural differences and work for peaceful change. Their programs successfully engage participants in community action for conflict transformation and reconciliation. They’ve found that face-to-face conversations in small groups composed of people from different religious traditions can help reduce conflict and create hope for the future.
These are just two examples of the new approach to political conflict which is increasingly being honored by major institutions such as governments, universities, and the United Nations. This new approach builds community through dialogue and restores social cohesion and harmony in diverse, fragmented societies. The founders of Search for Common Ground and United Religions are good friends of ours, whom we’ve known for years, so we can recommend their quality of their work. (For more insights into the new politics emerging everywhere, go to visionarylead.org).
Each of us can learn conflict resolution and peace-building skills, as they are taught in many local communities today, as well as online through internet programs. We can help resolve conflicts in our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces.
We each have unique gifts that we can contribute to create a more peaceful, lighted world. Take some time to honor yourself and turn within to ask your inner source of wisdom what new talent or ability you can access.
In this and future blogs, I’ll highlight some other innovative approaches emerging in various fields, such as healthcare and business, that are creating a new world today and bringing visions from our amazing future into our present reality. Hopefully these will inspire you with new directions you can take to create the new world our hearts long for.
Corinne McLaughlin is co-founder of The Firebird Group and The Center for Visionary Leadership and co-author of The Practical Visionary and Spiritual Politics.