“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” -Nelson Mandela
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we approach opposing voices. Opposition comes in all shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of power and influence, sometimes grounded in authority structures, laws, policies or procedures and other times in popular influence, mass movements of like-minded individuals, or the worst one – mass apathy. But there is usually one basic thing opponents have in common. They stand in our way. Through their action or inaction, they prevent us from reaching our goals, advancing our ideas, and/or achieving our success. They are an obstacle.
But why do we so often focus on pushing past our opponents or wining them over? Why don’t we instead focus more often on the obstacle they represent, and in doing so work to transform these relationships of opposition into partnerships? How much do we think about the roles of collaboration and partnership, not just with like-minds but…
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