Three ways to transform and manage conflicts

Conflicts are inevitable but they can be handled, transformed, and managed in order that they may not escalate into violence. Johan Galtung offers us three ways conflicts can be transformed: Empathy, non-violence, and creativity.

Empathy: Before ever you intensify your hatred for anyone or justify your position, put yourself in the person’s shoe. It may be something more than what you are thinking.

Non-violence: ‘Ignorance’ or narrow understanding of peace may make direct violence or use of force appear a powerful tool for achieving peace in other words, transforming conflict. Peace is deeper than mere disappearance of conflict and violence. It requires complete freedom, trust and integration, such that nothing is suppressed and there is no room for the re-occurrence of conflict.

Creativity: When the adulterous woman in the Bible was been chased to be stoned, and Jesus was asked of his take on the decision to stone the woman, he showed his creativity. Let him who has no sin be the first to stone her, he said. As we always try to justify our actions towards others in a situation of conflict, we should always remember that we too have sins. Be creative in a way that you let your enemies put down the stones they are holding to stone you.

It is better to be at peace than to be at war!


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