>> Monday, June 25, 2007

In real life, I avoid conflict at almost every turn. Arguments or disagreements that become heated make me uncomfortable. I especially dislike confrontations where one person is shown up in front of others and there is no way for them to back down without looking foolish. What can I say? I'm the empathetic sort, and I hate to feel like an idiot...especially in front of other people. So when others are made to feel that way, even if they walked right into it, I feel ashamed for them.

I was watching Beach Patrol on Court TV recently--a show covering a big regatta in Florida where marine police had to confront drunk and belligerent people. Of course, in that situation it's always in front of a lot of other people.

At one point, the cop was getting pretty pissed off at an idiot boater, and I found myself uncomfortable and eventually turned the channel.

Then it occurred to me...what a great way to observe personalities, the way different people handle conflict, body language, dialogue, procedure. So, I turned it back and watched another few hours of it. A learning experience to be sure.

Where do you find windows into conflict?


Edie 5:00 PM  

Joan, I avoid watching the news because so much of it is depressing. Today Oprah had on a show about children from other countries who were homeless and alone. (I missed the first half hour, so don't know what that was about.) I switched to another station--and then switched back. There was the most heart-wrenching story about a man who was a thrown-away Haitian child and raised as a slave. His "owner", who told him all he'd be good for was a shoeshiner, moved to the states. (I think he was 8--I'm not sure.) Once here, they were told that the law required all children to go to school. So they were forced to let him go to school. That changed his life. He found a teacher who saw something in him and helped him learn to read. He ended up going to college and now he's married with a family, and he's a teacher himself. Just thinking of his story, I'm crying.

Now, that's a different kind of conflict. And there are still other thrown-away and slave children in Haiti.

Joan Swan 9:22 PM  

Oh, boy. I could go on and on over this subject.

I've sponsored so many children overseas, I had to have a website to keep track of them all. One was a Hatian boy who lived at a house for abandoned children. The stories behind the lives of the boys who ended up there are truly unbelievably terrifying.

It's an overwhelming problem, and I found that I couldn't stop at one child or five children or even twenty.

Slowly, one by one, they moved out of the different charity service areas or they turned a certain age and weren't eligible for services anymore or the charity left the area because of a civil war or a mud slide or ... it goes on and on.

I don't have any sponsored children now, although I still penpal with a girl in Uganda. She sends me handmade batik pictures and cards and beads.

I miss my kids, the letters and pictures I used to get. But I'm the compulsive type...I end up wanting to help the whole world.

See... I told you I could go on and on...

Edie 4:50 PM  

Joan, I admire you. You're a special lady and you've got a lot of good karma coming your way.

spyscribbler 5:47 PM  

That's a good idea! A usefulness for reality TV ... who would've thunk, LOL?

I avoid conflict like crazy, too. Except this year. I must be going through some weird change, LOL.

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