Relationship building for peace

I mentioned recently that one of the things celebrities’ tweets provide is insight into their personal relationships. The power of personal connection–friendship–has been coming up for me in new contexts. In particular, the way that when you know you’re loved by someone it’s a lot easier to hear criticism, given lovingly. But the proof has to remain there: it’s no good to get criticized by someone you thought was your friend, and never hear from them again. It’s much more meaningful–and easier to examine this perceived flaw–if you continue to receive compassion and be understood by this person.

So I am decidedly over the moon about the possibility that the American military is talking about trust-building and friend-making in Afghanistan. I am surely wearing very thick rose-coloured glasses about this, but the idea is truly beautiful. To sit at the table and hear the needs of the community is perhaps the only possibility for the conversation to start. However, real relationship building requires that both parties share gifts and needs together. Our freedoms are bound together, our struggles are one.

Woman to Woman: A New Strategy in Afghanistan

PS Looking for a citation for the quote I was loosely referring to above led me to the quotes page on the website for the Centre for Restorative Justice. Neat. Then to Dale Jonathan Terasaki’s pre-med blog, and his post about altruism. Very timely.


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