Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to avoid conflict

In an article I am reading in preparation for a certain up-and-coming exam, I came across some proverbs from a variety of different cultures on conflict avoidance. Here's a small selection...*

  • Of the thirty-six ways of handling a conflict situation, running away is the best. (China)
  • Money softens a dispute like water softens clay. (Nigeria)
  • A good silence is better than a bad dispute. (Russia)
  • It is best to let an offence repeat itself three times. The first may be an accident, the second a mistake, only the third is likely to be intentional. (Kongo)
  • All is never said. (Ibo)
  • In playing chess, there is no infallible way of winning, but there is an infallible way of not losing – that is not to play chess. (China)
  • If a quarrel gets too hot for you, pretend it is a game. (Hausa) 
* From A Scott Moreau, Gary R Corwin & Gary B McGee, Introducing World Mission: a Biblical, Historical and Practical Survey, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004) 275; cited from Augsburger 1992, 223-35.

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