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Conflict Resolution Starts With Friendship

Humans are fundamentally irrational. Often, no matter what we know, we follow our hearts, and THEN justify our actions. From "you only live once" to "listen to your gut" ... all the way to road rage, the January 6 USA capitol attack, and the many international invasions and retaliations... our behaviors stem from our feelings, and our feelings are shaped by the media and propaganda surrounding us in our invisible bubble.

This is why international friendship is so important in resolving any international conflict. Friendships are built on understanding, trust and giving. When someone has an opinion that is different from us, it is vital to ask why they think the way they do, trust that they are fundamentally good people just like us, then do the hard work of finding a middle ground and giving them what we are willing to give. The above is easy if that someone is our family. It is not so easy if it is a stranger. It is almost impossible if it is an opponent of competing interests.

Our goal at Global Education Destinations is to create intelligent international friendships between young people across the world. The kind of friendship that is based on the pursuit of understanding, the willingness to do the hard work of give and take, and finally learning something new that did not exist in our old bubble before.

In just a few days, Buddies Without Borders Online Forums will launch its last Forum of the 2023-2024 school year. Ten teams of students from around the world will meet and compare what they know about the cultural, environmental and financial impact of the fashion industry, and brainstorm solutions to address the challenges as equal global citizens. More importantly, they will forge friendships across borders and ideologies, and learn the skills to become better leaders for our joint future.

Please join me in wishing all the participants good luck!

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