We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools. - MLK
In honor of MLK Day, I want to share a few resources that may be helpful to you in making peace in both your personal and public life.
The Peacemaker (Ken Sande): I read this book for a grad school class and absolutely loved it. It was transformative. The Peacemaker is a biblically based guide to resolving personal conflict. It has practical, Biblical advice on checking yourself (prior to wrecking yourself), deciding if a conflict is appropriate for confrontation, how to discuss conflict with others, and forgiveness. If you are married, have friends, or would like to interact with other human beings, please read this book! I think it was great for taming my Latin temper. In other words, it made me less of a jackass.
The Art of Forgiving (Lewis B. Smedes): I am lucky in that I’ve never really had anyone do anything horrible to me. If you have, I think that this book may be helpful for you in thinking through what forgiveness means, what it does and doesn’t include, and how it will free you. I’m basing that on in-depth group discussions that I’ve had with others who have read the book. One of the most interesting points in the book to me is that forgiveness requires a wrong, so it requires naming an evil. I think that is very powerful both for the victim and the offender. You can’t truly move on unless you have an event from which to move.
Difficult Conversations (Stone, Patton, Heen): My main takeaway from this book is that “when we fail to share what’s most important to us, we detach ourselves from others and damage our relationships.” In other words, a failure to have a difficult conversations is a failure to value yourself and your friend. You’ve decided that the relationship isn’t worth the effort.
This book also has great practical advice about how to fight. For example, if your main point is, “I want to spend more time with you,” don’t start with or make subtextual arguments like, “Why do you have to go out with your friends all the time?”
I hope these are helpful for you. If you have questions about these or other resources, let me know!