My name is Marc Linn. I have been interested in, curious about, and fed up with conflict for as long as I can remember. Growing up in an unusually contentious family, complete with underhanded business dealings, an institutionalized grandparent, and various brushes with the legal system took their toll. As Paul Simon says,"I grew up in a state of disbelief." **
I began to see some hope for our conflict-ridden world as well as myself, however, as a result of working with psychologist Nathaniel Branden. As I came to understand the link between our increasingly dysfunctional societies and the resulting frustration in the lives of so many individuals, I realized that at least some conflict can -- and should -- be avoided. I began paying close attention to conflicts large and small, determined to understand as much as possible about them... and, hopefully, someday be able to reduce their impact.
Pick your battles: which conflicts can -- and should -- be fixed?
I got to thinking about conflicts. I realized that they vary in a couple of significant ways: some matter, some don't. And some are beyond the reach of most of us, while others can be influenced by those involved. I put together a "truth table" that shows the possibilities:
|Doesn't Matter (examples)||DOES Matter (examples)|
|Can't Affect||Other people's personal choices||Wars, Corporate / Government Stupidity|
|CAN Affect||Minor nuisances while shopping, driving, etc.||Work, Roommates, Tenants / Landlords|
The lower right corner of the table is the "sweet spot" for conflicts: those that matter and that you just might be able to do something about. These will be the focus on this site, but who knows? Maybe some of the bigger conflicts will gradually be affected as well, although that may take a while.
We humans have struggled with and suffered from unnecessary conflict for far too long. Join me at conflictisstupid.com -- maybe we can start a positive trend!** Think too Much, from the album Hearts and Bones, Paul Simon, 1983