Conflict in your life and in your workplace? What is a person to do? The answer may lie in the following story.
The head of a cloistered monastery became very frustrated with the bickering and conflict among the monks who were in his charge. He felt helpless in finding a solution to this ongoing problem. One day, he was brilliantly inspired with the right and perfect solution. Knowing that behaviors can change if there is a compelling reason to do so, he called all of the monks together.
He said, "I am so pleased to share this wonderfully exciting news with you today. I have learned that one among you is a divinely chosen and blessed being who is one of God's specially selected ministers. We are so fortunate to have this person among us. I know that each of you shares this excitement with me." With no further word, he turned and left the monks alone.
The monks sat for a moment and looked around at each other. The puzzlement and then the wondr in their eyes were evident as they looked to each other for some sign of the "blessed one." There was outer silence, but each monk experienced similar inner dialog. "I wonder who it is? Who among us seems most likely to be God's special being? I wonder if I have insulted the blessed one?..." On and on went the inner dialog.
The bickering among the monks seem to cease almost immediately as they did their best not to insult or antagonize the one who was held in special esteem by God. Since there was no indication of who the special monk was, all of the monks treated each other with respect, courtesy, and great fondness.
Weeks went by. The excitement and curiosity abated and the monks settled down into their usual routine. However, the habit of bickering had been replaced with the habit of respect, courtesy, and a willingness to explore solutions to their problems. There was peace in the monastery.
This wonderful story reflects what actually takes place every day in the workplace. What if we treated our co-workers as though they are "divinely special beings" with our motive not being one of fear, but simply wanting peace in the workplace more than we want anything else?
When we begin to look at others with compassionate eyes, speak words of kindness, and think of others with a desire to understand them, we will begin to change. And, interestingly enough so will they. What goes around, comes around.
Just for this moment, this day, this week, look for the goodness in others, as you look for and celebrate the goodness in myself.