Two people were having a very loud argument in the park. We could understand that they were two friends who were disagreeing on the meaning of an action. One guy felt that it was an innocent mistake that was misconstrued. The other guy saw something more sinister behind the act. Soon, the argument came to blows. Initially, it was just two people fighting. All the others were trying to mitigate the situation or just standing and watching the fight. But now, the silent bystanders also joined the fight and the mitigators started to take sides. This whole matter was getting too noisy. Luckily, someone in the crowd shouted that the cops were coming and immediately, most of them scattered. The few that remained were waiting for the two friends to decide whose house to crash at.

I observed this incident and noticed something interesting. The whole fracas started with a simple difference of viewpoints between friends. Many people tried to subdue the matter peacefully, but they soon got dragged into the fight too. The bystanders just came to watch the fun and have a few laughs. But soon, they started to add their views and fanned the flames. The few sane people in that group tried to maintain peace but got pushed around. Sadly in this confusion, everyone had a momentary lapse of wisdom. It took a simple scare to break the crowd and remove all the unnecessary distractions to resolve the matter.

Here, I have given a very simple example of all conflicts. They start with a small disagreement and the people around, though well-intentioned, inadvertently become part of the problem. It is easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment and make snap judgments. It requires a controlled mind to rise above the chaos and bring order.

Since this incident, I tried to recollect all the arguments that I’ve witnessed. I wanted to understand if I could maintain my calm in conflict. I discerned that I had failed on several occasions and the best I’ve managed to do, is keep my mouth shut in cases of arguments. That was helpful to a certain extent, but that’s not a solution. Have you had better luck than me? Were you able to diffuse a volatile situation or managed to keep your presence of mind in a fight? Share your thoughts with me.

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