Clearly technological advances in war making, travel, and communications as well as the increased forces of economic, social, and political globalization have put us in close contact with “the other” sort of person. This meeting of oil and water is characterized by the military, terrorist actions and other forms of violence occurring in our world that are increasingly leading to states of psychological and spiritual disorder.
A major adjustment of the 20th century, which shows all signs of increasing exponentially in the 21st century, is to discover how to both maintain our unique identities and heritages while living as peacefully as possible with our neighbors. Culturally-competent counselors, psychologists and other experts possess the knowledge and skills to encourage and facilitate discussions among representatives from diverse perspectives that are directly involved in these violent struggles. From this, nonviolent conflict resolution traditions may lead to the greater levels of justice, peace and security we have been seeking.
Themes covered in these books include acknowledgement and understanding of the “other” such that their subjectivity is directly recognized, discussed, and their narrative taken into account. Conflicts between disparate cultures are inevitable, and narratives can serve to stimulate and sustain them. One gift we may offer to this process is an ability to understand, frame, and promote ways to structure reconciliation.
Finally, perhaps one thread of commonality among the traditions in great conflict is that each has an ideology of forgiveness. Forgiveness is part of healing with understanding of the ‘other' and communication through conflict necessary to the process. Approaches to forgiveness include experiences with mediation and reconciliation, the import of compassion and interest in physical and psychological well-being.