The Resolution of Conflict

Human civilisation has a history of several thousand years, and has contributed enormously to the wellbeing and happiness of man. However, conflict of some form or another has never been absent from the scene of history, either in a large scale, such as a war, or conflict among individuals, small or large groups of people, concerning moral, political or philosophical views current at the time. However, the 21st Century appears to stand out in history, because of its many, and widely varied reasons for conflict among groups of people, and which appear to have affected nearly every aspect of the life of modern man.

Whereas in the past, disturbances in Society were mainly caused by minorities of people, and usually young, these days disturbances tend to involve people of many and different social levels: young, old, middle aged, rich or poor, or with different levels of education. If we look for the real reason of such a state of affairs, the research will identify that alienation of people from one another, caused by lack of compassion, kindness, tolerance and all those qualities included in the Christian concept of love. This is the root cause of the problem, where the individual lives alone, in a world of his own, oblivious of the presence of others, and for whom he harbours a cold contempt and maintains a superficial relationship with them. The resolution to every problem in Society, is the other person! person! Someone else to talk to and be with, expose your inner self, enjoy doing things together, laugh together, help one another: in fact offering help provides the greatest pleasure and satisfaction, than anything else. Living in a Society and mixing with people, extends our knowledge, expands our personality and cultivates our character. However, there is one form of personal relationship, which can contribute most to one’s social life and happiness, particularly that of young persons, and that is friendship. friendship. If you ask what is friendship, Aristotle will tell you: ” it is the bond between people of about the same age, who have similar ideals and similar aspirations.” In his book “Moral Nikomaheia”, Aristotle describes true friendship as “…friendship begets friendship and this creates the bond between two people”. It is not a quick acquaintance, but a sincere, pure bond, established with a lot of care. Both Socrates and Plato state that friendship “is a psychological need, and therefore should be sincere, without ulterior motive, within correct boundaries, and in which friends are faithful to one another”.

True friendship is the one between people of virtue and moral principles, and as such is lifelong, as long as both friends remain alive (Aristotle). It also remains an important factor of social development for the young person, where he can open his heart and expose with confidence to his friend the secrets of his conscience, his success and failures, his sufferings and his happiness. This unloading or exteriorisation of one’s inner self, is enormously beneficial to the peace of conscience and the health of character. If the facts and sentiments we have described are true, and they certainly are, then where else can a young person find in our times a friend or friends, apart from the Christian environment we have been blessed by God to live in.

Friendship, and particularly Christian friendship, provides the enthusiasm, for one to attain in life, things much greater and significant he ever imagined. Then he understands what Saint Paisios has advised: Without enthusiasm, Christian life is not possible, but is only possible with it. Remember what the Word of God says: «φίλος πιστὸς σκέπη κραταιά, ὁ δὲ εὑρὼν αὐτὸν εὗρεν θησαυρόν» – A faithful friend is a strong shelter, and he who finds one finds a treasure (Sirach 6:14).

Source: Lychnos June / July 2016