Conflict Resolution 101

IMG_1330 - 2009-11-10 at 17-56-51The high haze in the dark morning sky brings me down to earth. Without stars in these early hours I am resigned to making my own points of light, in my own inner sky. I wonder how many do this, and of those that do, how many even notice it. The second cup of coffee ought to quash that vague train of thought, waking me up, lifting me from those celestial fantasies, and nudging me back into line with the coming needs of the day. I can deal with that, but I will miss the morning stars, miss them even though they are where they always are. Why I give such power to the haze will remain a mystery. Even though I accept the physical aspects of the blooming Spring morning my mind must play.

I was on the fringes of a frightening dog fight yesterday. At the animal shelter part of the job is to attend to the needs of the dogs, cleaning their kennels, providing food, and keeping their water bowls fresh, and full. To accomplish this we must remove the dogs from their enclosures, transferring them to outside enclosures where they can wait out our dutiful activity. Usually there is no trouble. The dogs enjoy the change of scene.

Yesterday was a different story for two dogs, then five. I was bringing out a big fella named Marshall, holding tight to the leash as he did his best to smell and see everything within range of his senses. A shelter volunteer was out there in the yard walking another dog. With no apparent notice two other dogs got into a quarrel, going straight into attack mode, without the warning of snarls and growls. It was a fierce fight, mediated only by an eight foot high chain link fence. They managed to get their muzzles through the fence, as much as they could, making it a battle between teeth, noses, and lips.

As I honed in with my eyes I instantly realized that there was nothing I could do, I was restrained by the fact that I had a fifty pound dog on a leash with me, and that dog wanted a piece of the action. I had to pen him in before I could try to break up the fight, but the volunteer either missed the practicality of keeping her dog in hand, or she just acted spontaneously. She dropped the leash and her dog came at mine, latching on with the forces of quickness and agility. No injuries were going on but I had to break up the skirmish, avoid injuries to the animals, before I could attempt to break up the more dangerous fight. My coworker emerged from the building where the dogs are housed, and upon seeing the action ran right into the middle of the mess. As he took action my dog was biting me just above my left knee.

All had gone chaotic by that time. The next contestant was a pit bull mix, as were the two fiercest fighters. She weighed out at about forty pound, a powerful muscle on four legs. She leapt up, grabbed the fence, hurried over, then plunged eight feet down, and ran toward the melee. My coworker got that dog, put her back into the pen, and she came right back out again, up and over the fence.

I have no idea, from there, what transpired, but all was calmed and the fights ended. The only injury even close to serious  was some tearing of the lower lip of one of the initial fighters. My knee was fine, no broken skin, no blood, no bruises. The culprits were removed from their pens and transferred into their usual housing, and from there they were loaded into carrier boxes and hauled off to where the in-house veterinarian could examine them.

Driven by morning coffee , in retrospect, I see that all of us were acting on instinct, five seeking combat and three seeking peace. All were seeking resolution yet there was a difference in just what that resolution would look like. All mammals, all animals, we eight participants won they day and peace was restored. That we humans were working toward peace is a comfort to me. That we prevailed in our aspirations is also a comfort.

Human battles are not even close to finished in these times. It is still mammals against mammals, regardless of our lofty assumptions. Primate against primate, not dog against dog. I think of Julius Caesar, in Shakespeare’s play of the same name:  “Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!”. Don’t you see it? It’s not rocket science, it’s not even politics. It is as natural as can be: mammals sometimes attack, then fight. Yet some of us humans seek to restrain such action, with aspirations which would take down this tendency toward conflict and combat, and reduce it to minimal occurrence. We aspirants seek peace.

What I am getting at here is that peace seekers  strive toward a creative act. Ideals can drive this hard sought creation just as they can drive what we peacekeepers aspire toward. I repeat – it is a creative act. What we have here is duality. Unity will not wash this away. Unity will likely have to become an overseer that softens one of the powerful forces that Nature herself wove into the fabric of this wondrous world. We cannot overcome Nature. We are within her realm. Look at the corporate destruction, the destructive forces that seek to reign in Nature and profit grandly from that questionable victory.  Here’s what I say about that: it ain’t happinin’. Those power and profit mongers cannot step out of their place within Nature. She is large beyond comprehension.

As usual from me you get a metaphor that takes a small incident and turns it into a quest for meaning and hopefully an engine for transcendence. I don’t believe that we can achieve unity until we get a grip on the fact that nature designed conflict. Nature designed battles. To make peace a predominant force in the world we must create an alternate force that still works within Nature, and we must respect the dogs of war before we can curtail them. Transcendence and spiritual evolution, I believe, can and will prevail. That, to me, cannot be denied by anyone with a heart and mind that work in harmony with instinct. Unity is an internal force that can and will come to oversee destruction. I hope it happens soon, within my lifetime. I’d like that. I’d like the recommendation “now – no fighting kids” to become an unspoken motto. Then we can grow up. That is all that is lacking. Says me. Give a nod of respect to the dogs of war then step on into the Golden Age.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.



2 thoughts on “Conflict Resolution 101

  1. Pingback: You Get Bigger As You Go | Eyeyotee

  2. Pingback: Conflict Resolution 102 | Eyeyotee

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