Spinning Syndromes of Conflict


"The whole picture, nothing but the whole picture and its parts so help me God."  -CE Eksuzian 2014

“The whole picture, nothing but the whole picture including its parts, so help me God.” -CE Eksuzian 2014

The “spin” causes position.

Angles abound

In contextual motion.

Truth becomes sidelined

For competing opinion.

In the midst of public dissension,

Ordinances and mandates

Are employed, 

To eek out 

The judicial decision,

While those who take

A degree of justice

Into their own hands,

Are not unlike caregivers,

Who practice nursing

Without license certification.

To work for the public

Is a daunting proposition.

One needs to see 

The choice of being,

Is a line so fine in serving,

The public eye’s examination.

Do we have what it takes

To live our work tasks

According to the responsibilities

Defined in a code of ethics

We employ with?

If  both sides 

Are in the wrong,

Then both contribute

To the conflict’s throng.

The most effective act 

Is the song

Of forgiveness,

While the background

Of instruments

Tighten their strings

To the appropriate pitch

Of government law surveillance.

In “Leading Through Conflict, How Successful Leaders Transform Differences into Opportunities,” author Mark Gerzon discusses the idea of “systems thinking” as a way to lead through conflict.  He states that systems thinking is about “identifying all (or as many as possible) of the significant elements related to the conflict and understanding the relationship between them.” ( page 81)

He also describes that by drawing better boundaries, each contributor to the conflict  is able to know more deeply the presence of his own position, and the positions of the other contributors to the conflict.  “When we approach a zone of conflict, presence enables us to determine whether and when it is safe to enter; it guides us to ask the right questions; it indicates where to begin our work, and at what pace; and it tells us when the task is complete.  It is our compass, our guide, and our most precious ally.” (page 99) 

Where do you define the boundaries of the system of which you are a part?  This is one of the most critical leadership questions today.” -Ronald Heifetz, JFK School of Government, Harvard University (page 81)

“Nobody seems to get the whole picture.” (page 82)

“They see only their part, not the whole organization.” (page 82)

“We are suffering from myopia…we can’t see past our noses.” (page 82)

“Isn’t there some way we can all get on the same page?” (page 82)

What is presence?  Author Mark Gerzon describes presence as “applying all our mental, emotional, and spiritual resources to witnessing ourselves and the conflict of which we are now a part.” (page 97)

Running in the background of presence is the state of becoming awake.  “True self-interest teaches selflessness…Heaven and earth endure because they are not simply selfish but exist in behalf of all creation.  The wise leader, knowing this, keeps selfishness in check, and, by doing so, becomes more effective.” (page 97)  -Lao Tzu, sixth-century Chinese sage.

Being present is clearly very effective in drawing our boundaries.  The state of presence is a full awakening of ourselves and our relationship to the whole of life.  Presence enables us to see the whole picture as well as each individual part.  We are in effect, “out of the box,” and this perspective enables us to envision a “shared and accurate understanding of the whole system,” (page 82)  thus, our own lenses are revealed.  “People may get to understand that they give ‘meaning’ to facts, but it is more difficult for them to accept that in the process of understanding reality, they select those facts that are consistent with their views, beliefs and values, and leave out others.” (page 92)

Systems thinking as a way to engage conflict is a striking proposition.  But it is one we have to choose and live with decisiveness and integrity.  “At one global corporation that includes systems thinking in its leadership training, the chief learning officer admitted that his own company failed to apply it to their own image.”  (page 92)

In our world today, we all make mistakes.  Shall we choose to be vigilantes with lynch mob vision, or can we forgive each of our parts in the wrong, be peacemakers and move forward with shared choices that meet the needs of the population?

The choice is up to us.

©2014 C. E. Eksuzian, all rights reserved.


Gerzon, Mark:     Leading Through Conflict, How Successful Leaders Transform                 Differences into Opportunities, Harvard Business School Press 2006

About Cindy Eksuzian

See my "about me" page.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Awakening, Choice, Forgiveness, Human Dignity, Identity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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