conflict

95 The peaceable dignity of understanding

Whining dog baseball A puppy down the street was whining miserably. I told my friend it was sending us baseball signals. “Those are the sounds you make when playing Left Out.” Can I communicate from Right Center Field? Can addressing a stranger in public be the Left Out signal instead of a pickup line? Does a pickup line come from a generous, or an ulterior, motive? On the subway a stranger who speaks to me is usually trying to share a religious thought. Human communication makes the person feel better. It usually has the same effect on me. Mumbling strangers …

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87 Gentle lesson

The German way On our visit to Germany, our hostess, my mother’s sister (my Tante) Elsa, served delicious Leberwurst (liverwurst). I cut a circle and spread it out across my bread. Tante Elsa firmly remonstrated, “In Deutchland drueckt man nicht die Wurst.“ (In Germany one does not press the sausage.) To the postwar Germans this generous serving was an affirmation of sufficiency—affluence, compared to what they had endured. My aunt was asking me to conform to local practice. It was polite for her to teach me manners. In German culture, that was not only acceptable; it was required. We had …

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64 Please disagree

Today’s title is a special request. The article explains how to carry it out. The jovial expression in the staged photo communicates something other than despair. That lighthearted view of disagreement is quite different from serious conflict. High-energy union in competition A sportsmanlike contest is cooperation. The 1949 movie Adam’s Rib stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as a married couple whose love includes fighting fiercely in the courtroom or on the political stage. Athletes compete vigorously while understanding that their performance will bring out the best in the other party. The benefits are understood by and accrue to both …

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