Peace can be fleeting, but it’s worth working toward. Conflict Resolution Day offers humans around the world an opportunity to consider how they contribute to peace in the world, whether on a local level with family and coworkers or on a global scale. It only takes some small steps in the right direction to build skills and create new habits that can make the entire world a more peaceful place.
History of Conflict Resolution Day
Conflict Resolution Day is a global event, intended to promote the concept of peaceful conflict resolution. Established in 2005 by the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), it is now an annual celebration.
Primarily an educational event, the main purpose of Conflict Resolution Day is to increase awareness of the various peaceful, non-violent methods of conflict resolution available, such as mediation and arbitration. In addition, the ACR hopes to promote their use in various different avenues of life, including in schools, workplaces, within the legal system and even amongst families.
One way Conflict Resolution Day is used is to celebrate the significant contributions of peaceful conflict resolvers, whether on a local, national or international level. Folks such as Mahatma Gandhi, Marie Curie, Horace Mann, Dolores Huerta and so many others should be celebrated for the helpful models they have been as they lived their lives in an effort toward resolving conflict in a peaceful manner.
How to Celebrate Conflict Resolution Day
Those who are interested in ways to show appreciation for and celebrate Conflict Resolution Day might want to get started with some of these ideas:
Attend a Conflict Resolution Day Event
Each year, the Association for Conflict Resolution, alongside various independent organizations, hosts informative events all over the world, so check the event listings in the local area and see if it is possible to attend one. Some of the themes for these annual events of the past have included:
- Evolving Horizons in Conflict Resolution
- Heal the Divide
- Reflective Engagement: Learning from Our Past – Transforming Our Future
- Focusing Resolutions in an Imperfect Time
Check at nearby libraries, schools, universities, community centers and more for local organizations who might also be holding events. Don’t have a Conflict Resolution Day event happening in the local area yet? Then perhaps it is time to start one!
Engage in Conflict Resolution
One of the most important parts of honoring Conflict Resolution Day is accepting that conflict sometimes arises. It doesn’t need to be avoided or ignored, but needs to be addressed to find a way through it. Check out some of these important tips that can be used in situation where conflict arises at work, at home or in other spaces:
- Be an agent of calm. Keeping a level head and decreasing the intensity of the feelings and the problem is an important factor.
- Use neutral language. Try to respond with “I” statements, avoiding accusations, exaggerations, name calling or other inflammatory statements.
- Be an active listener. Don’t only wait for the other person to finish, but hear what they are saying.
- Work together. Coming to a resolution might mean each person taking responsibility for actions and ownership for their part of the problem.
Learn More About Conflict Resolution
Many books, magazine articles and blogs have been written around the topic of resolving conflict, and Conflict Resolution Day is the perfect time to check out some of these. Get educated on some of the many ways that peace can be found in relationships, work situations, government and just life in general.
Or, why not spend the day learning about the contributions of some of history’s great peaceful conflict mediators? From South African President Nelson Mandela to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and so many others, the world has been filled with men and women who have found for peaceful solutions to problems whether large or small, through conflict resolution. And this should be celebrated in honor of Conflict Resolution Day!