Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Untangling the net of relationship

Mark Nepo tells us that peace builder John Paul Lederach found that one of the Mexican words for conflict translates into "the net is tangled." It's a wonderful metaphor to help us understand that the original, functioning, productive state is all about connections; that conflict unravels connections which must be carefully sorted, untangled, and re-bound so that the net may again serve its purpose. It's not that the tangle is resolved, it's that the connections are restored.

I like, also, that he points out that each fisherman takes one end of the opened net and they "back away from each other until the net is fully open. Then they can see the knots and tangles more easily. Once they've repaired it, they walk the open net into the water together. What this tells us is that even when having the courage and commitment to face conflict, we need enough distance between us so the net of relationship can untangle and open it can feed us."

Distance, commitment, patience, connection, mutual benefit -- a beautiful way to understand the importance of finding ways to work together.

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