The world is in a state of crisis — from the presidential elections to the insurrection on January 6; from the deaths and devastation created by the pandemic to impassioned resistance to masks and vaccines; from the murders of George Floyd and Brionna Taylor to the rise of white supremacy and Black Lives Matter; from sexual harassment and #metoo to Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein, and Andrew Cuomo; from unprecedented fires, floods, and heat waves to climate change denial; from war and civilian casualties in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, and the Middle East to bristling hostilities with China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, and others.
In these conflicts and crises, our success and survival as a civilization and as a species, increasingly depend on our ability to listen empathetically, communicate non-violently, solve problems jointly, negotiate collaboratively, decide consensually, act collectively, and resolve conflicts meditatively. They depend on our ability to appreciate diversity and dissent, engage in dialogue with those who think differently, and build trust between former foes; and on our ability to bridge and dismantle the social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental barriers we have erected to dominate and prevail over others.
The stakes are high and getting higher. The old ways are failing and new ones are needed. These conflicts and crises are not over and will not wait. Unprecedented crises require unprecedented solutions.
This book is an attempt to shift the way we think and act in times of conflict and crisis, and to encourage the adaptation and application of conflict resolution skills and techniques to the social, economic, political, and environmental disputes and crises that impact us.