Our best hope is that everyone will gain the strength for reconciliation to create the basis for sustainable peace.
In our vision, the leaders of this world are strong and reflective
for the acknowledgement of what has happened and for the responsibility that results.
There is much endeavor by the world community to contribute to a more peaceful world.
We have great capacities for negotiation and facilitation of peace processes, but empathic dialogue is typically neglected. There are many different interests and positions, but the parties involved are individual human beings and all belong to the human family and must be considered and respected as such without prejudice and hidden interests.
A sustainable peace can only supported with a convincing, authentic inner attitude.
Civilian, independent, neutral and all-party dialogue facilitators are an urgent requirement.
Although many European states and global superpowers do not currently confirm active involvement in warfare, there are many unresolved conflicts in their ancient and recent past that affect world peace nowadays and are the underlying reason for many current local conflicts.
A significant example is the insufficiently processed colonialism.
The necessity and principles of dealing with the past are beyond dispute.
The consequences of repression and rejection are also well known.
In order to resolve conflicts, the underlying truths must be mutually recognized.
In this context, different views are natural and permissible.
This absolutely necessary realization is still widely denied, although it is obvious and expertly recognized. There is no excuse for this long overdue acknowledgement and it cannot be stopped. The longer it is postponed, the more we, and in fact the entire world community, will pay for it.
Yes, in the context of colonialism, the demand for financial compensation will come up very quickly.
This is not surprising and must first be coped with. On the other hand, the victims and those affected have had to wait a very long time. There will also be internal critics. But all obstacles and inconveniences cannot and must not stop this process.
The individual ego problems, also camouflaged as “state interests” are present, but may no longer hinder. Just because many do not like to hear this and it is not easy, truth cannot be stopped.
We pay now already all far too much for it, these costs and the wasted energy we can let flow meaningfully into the well-being of the humanity and the nature for a livable grandchild-suited world.
In the context of postcolonial times, feelings like guilt and shame indicate something to us. But we have to deal with them ourselves, they must not prevent us from dealing with the past. That is individual responsibility.
Viewed differently, the feared loss of prosperity is only fair compensation for the exploitation on which our prosperity is largely based.
Guilt and shame are deep-seated feelings broadly rooted in society.
Young children use the induction of these feelings in their parents as one of their most effective tools of asserting needs and interests.
Although the behavior is no longer adequate for adults, these feelings are still easily triggered in themselves unconsciously. The avoidance strategies against these well-known feelings start early and are usually permanently latent and preventive. This massively prevents the approach to coming to terms with the past and the assumption of responsibilities.
Historical reappraisal in society and especially in schools is a very important aspect of the “Right to Truth”, but it must be complemented by emotional reappraisal.
The “Right to Truth” is one side, on the other side there is the necessity of listening, it is almost an obligation.
The emotions are deep, subliminal and partly unconscious. But they do not disappear by themselves and have an effect on the next generations.
This reappraisal is extremely important and has an inward aspect and an outward aspect. We have to work on the feelings of guilt and shame within ourselves.
Processing in the outside world exists in the context of current conflict parties and past victims and aggrieved parties.
Outwardly, we connect empathically with the conflicting parties and / or the victims and the injured or their descendants. We listen, acknowledge, regret and mourn without denying or justifying, without a but.
Emotional reappraisal continues after acknowledgement and is an important prerequisite for Reconciliation and a component of the “Measures of Non-Recurrence”.
But unfortunately, this is exactly what is usually neglected.
The act of acknowledgement must be visible and appropriate for all parties involved.
The authenticity lies in the inner honest attitude.
For global issues, especially colonialism, public acknowledgement at the highest possible level in front of the entire world is necessary.
This is inevitable and can not be stopped, but unfortunately also the biggest problem for those responsible.
The lasting impact, on the other hand, is more significant than any financial restitution.
This does not mean that reparation must be limited to words.
Apologizing with the demand for acceptance and forgiveness does not work. This is a pathetic attempt to wash its hands of the affair. The authenticity and timing of an apology matters.
The acceptance of an apology is decided by the victim alone, this can never be demanded.
There is too much talk about it, just do it when it is honest and appropriate. Reflective acceptance is in any case an indispensable prerequisite, and it is precisely this that is generally lacking.
It always start in the here and now. At every moment we have the choice of direction.
Let’s do not turn people into objects and treat them like objects only.
Professional negotiation is one side of the coin, but it is primarily about interests and positions. The interests of the facilitators are not necessarily excluded.
Let us care more about people and let us go deeper with an empathic dialogue in order to discover the real causes.
Let’s include all parties, because they are the owners of the conflict and they also know the deeper root causes, even if on the surface competition dominates on which we are all conditioned.
Let’s move away from competition to cooperation and dialogue, and work together for a better world.
Dialogue does not mean chitchat, nor does it mean hard-nosed negotiation.
The dialogue does not only refer to conflict parties but is also important internally for the facilitators.
The cooperation starts at the very beginning with a dialogue within the facilitator teams.
This will then have an authentic and collaborative impact on the systems being supported.
At the grassroots level of the population with people-to-people contact, the so-called Track 3, there are many remarkable and successful projects by many authentic and committed volunteers and NGOs.
Where there is a lot of development potential is with the top level influencers, the actors on Track 1 and Track 1.5. Here lies the challenge to get in touch and to convince that in the end we are all in the same boat.
How do we bring the focus on willingly contributing to the welfare of the human family?
How do we bring the focus to willingly contribute to the well-being of the human family on the multitrack level.
Is power, money, fame and recognition really everything?