Peacemaking

I think I should be knighted.

Sir Brittany Pearson.

It just sounds right. I mean, wouldn’t they knight you too if you success fully mediated the Israelis and the Palestinians?

Because I did. In a simulation.

How did she do it?

Well first of all, failure was necessary before success.  I struggled through a very unsuccessful dry run in the position of Palestinian leader.  I was determined to make each and every decision based on my ultimate goals and peaceful tendencies.  I consistently attempted to deter violence and ignored security measures due to my belief that they would hinder any kind of empathy and connectivity between the civilians of both sides.

I was still thinking with my Canadian perspective.

What would a Canadian citizen want from a Canadian leader. Resources put into munitions? I don’t think so.  Support for Religious extremist groups? Um, who are we talking about here, the mennonites?

By the time I started recognizing the reasons for my demise, I could do nothing but dig myself a deeper hole.  Failure from the palestinian side was quick and dirty.  Most of the palestinian population was furious with me every time I went for the peaceful solution.

I was “weak”.  That isn’t exactly a prime descriptive word for a leader.  I don’t think I survived well trying to deal with a population that had been hit with such heavy personal loss.  In hindsight, my peaceful solutions would seem placated to a population that has been hit so hard with despair and violence that they’ve become filled with passionate hate.  Though the violent solutions don’t appeal to the entire Palestinian population, Religious groups can still influence the general consensus by taking violent action and being outspoken with their perspectives.

My brain kept on telling me to fight the radical groups because they were instigating so much death and chaos. A super theory, not so super in practice.   This was where my issues with the simulation came up.  It seemed that, from the Palestinian side, my choices were either:

a) Be violent and side with the radicals

or

b) Be peaceful and consequently receive no respect while fading into oblivion

Evidently I chose the latter.  I also chose to curse the simulation and be frustrated.  I wanted to make negotiations and choose options that were in between the options available but the computer was stubborn.

Maybe the groups are actually this stubborn. Perhaps my ideals of attending to everyones needs simultaneously and not taking drastic measures is actually unattainable.  Resources can only be spread so thin before any changes made lose their effect.  My personal values have to be applied in context in order to be viable.  I can still be peaceful and serve a common good, but do it Middle-East style… except that I’ve already failed…

WAIT, I have another chance! HURRAH.

My strategies and tactics used as an Israeli leader still followed my initial peaceful interrelation model, because in my personal opinion some credit has to be given to a leader who maintains their platform.  Upon turning over a new leaf, however, I decided that I would take an active role in providing the common citizens what they would ultimately need.  I would not be afraid of providing them security, just because it may offend the palestinians.  I would also not be afraid to offend the Jewish radicals settling in Westbank.  I figured anyone who causes violence is a common enemy to anyone who fears for their safety and desires peaceful solutions, and I would unite them by being stable in policy and platform and prioritizing by putting health and economic needs on the front burner for both sides of the conflict.  I thoroughly enjoyed using the “Reduce Criticism” and “Unite for Peace” speaking buttons.

Yeah, It was pretty serious business. Simulation Shmimulation.

It was not always successful. I thought I was going down the failure path for a while, but then I persevered and developed a following.  People rallied for me.  I was a big shot. Once I was on the upswing, my confidence (along with the confidence that my people had in me) saw me through.  The smaller mistakes and bumps along the way were easy to recover from when the big picture was in sight.

Yes, at one point I was frustrated because (due to the success of my leadership) it was becoming a seriously long game and not a fast fail, BUT I felt some very well earned accomplishment upon finishing. It was worth it.

I felt like I was back playing the Sims or neopets.  Back when I would forget that earning one million neopoints had no payout in real life.

Reflecting on some of the leadership styles that could have played roles in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I believe that ultimate success will come from a transformational leader.

Charismatic leaders have the power to evoke emotion and impose control.  To me, this sounds like the way that the religious factions have been operating up to this point.  They play upon their influence, and they play upon the suffering of the population in order to fulfill their directives.  Charisma doesn’t seem like it has the ability to build a common ground.  It can make the individual sides fight harder and stand their ground, but I don’t believe it could foster mutual goals and negotiation.

Transactional leaders might be able to maintain the current goals, and attempt to work well with what is currently available, but will they be able to see the ultimate goal?  Transactional leadership would likely be able to overcome problems as they arise and minimize damage.  What this conflict needs, however, is an overhaul.

In order for the destructive, violent situation to disappear, the hatred has to disappear.  A transformational leader would have the ability to change the game.  Unite each and every peaceful citizen against the war, not against each other.  The violence could be the enemy.  This requires a new perspective and a complete transformation.

I virtually rocked that.  We will ignore the fact that before “rocking that”, I sent the situation into complete chaos and started over.

I could comment about how one could take this situation and relate it to a business attempting to please conflicting stakeholders, or dealing with an agency problem.  An easy way to understand it, to empathize. In this situation though, I think it’s important to emphasize that, as physically far away as the gaza strip is to Canada, the issue itself hits close to home for many Canadians.  Canada is home to a population with a variety of ethnic and political backgrounds, many of whom have ties to the Jewish-Arabic conflicts.  We also happen to live in a place of opportunity, where our policies, our alliances, and our educated citizens can make a global difference.  Transformational leadership is all about dreaming big.  If someone has a desire, ambition, or aspiration, whether it be simply starting a local business or getting involved in international relations and managing global conflict, “Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way”.

And where there is one person dreaming of peace, there are countries full.

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