Last week, gretta began a series based on next year's Lenten lectionary readings. The theme has been dispute and conflict and she's helped us, with the assistance of the Oxford English Dictionary and TED, differentiate between the two and explore some models for working through them.
She has used a number of resources on the web and we wanted to make them available to you.
The first was the Ladder of Inference. Here's the picture gretta created for the gathering. You'll find more information about the Ladder of Inference here and much more is available on the web.
Basically, what the ladder teaches us is that we tend to interpret reality in ways that may or may not be helpful, stepping away from the raw facts and finding ourselves acting in ways that may or may not reflect what the reality of any situation was. Very quickly, we assume certain facts are more important than others, selecting them to hold a prominence they may not have had. Once we do that, it is easy for us to interpret those facts and create assumptions based upon them. Gretta noted that the ladder, to this point, is helpful in resolving disputes, arguments of perspective that are usually about facts that can be examined. Above that, when we get to establishing beliefs, we're into conflict, differences of opinion based on values, culture, relationships, and religious beliefs. Its a comfortable place to be and so loops us back, over and again, into the selection and interpretation of reality. Changing our beliefs is like changing our worldview; it's a hard learn when it comes to us. So conflicts may often be long and arduous because they are undertaken at the level of our worldviews.
Here are the TED talks that animated this week's Perspective(s). And the page for Abraham's Path, an initiative created by William to address the systemic conflicts in the Middle East. Enjoy!
Clair Canfleld's address on The Beauty of Conflict.
ChrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke. Conflict: Use it; don't Diffuse it.
William Ury. The Walk from "No" to "Yes"