Today’s burning topic is confrontation. Much of your life is determined by your ability to tolerate confrontation, both in creating and receiving ‘turning points.’ Confrontation sometimes takes the form of a discussion, argument or all out war. Confrontation and the ability to communicate determines whether people live or die. Confrontation is the difference between moving on with your life, and remaining in the same stuck position for years. I am a bit of a fan of confrontation, although I am just as inclined to avoid it as too stressful as pursue it for the purpose of moving on.
Your ability to tolerate confrontation is determined by a variety of things: your level of confidence, your level of communication skills, your level of emotional stability, your ability to tolerate stress in the form of your adrenaline levels. I was once told that burglars are able to take up stealing from houses because of their low adrenaline levels, which I thought was fascinating. I am far to anxious to do any such thing, which has hampered my progress since my twenties due to trauma. Before my mid twenties, I led a team of several people. After this, I was not given much of a chance, and have come to consider myself less capable as a result.
Having said this, the ability to confront is not necessarily a quality that successful people have. Sometimes they are successful because they are incredibly skilled at avoiding it. When put on the spot, however, these people are the first to crumble. I cannot tell you how amusing it is, when you discover that your oh-so-cool friend is not very cool at all when presented with unexpected information or a new situation.
Chefs often have very intense confrontations, which actually makes for a very healthy working environment. Problems are dealt with under pressure rather than festering, as they often do in offices. The upside of this is that problems with the working environment are solved extremely quickly. Many chefs retire into the army, which is simply a more controlled environment of disciplined confrontation.
National confrontations often take the form of war. The UK has made great use of diplomacy to avoid this, whilst making a living out of wars elsewhere. The British machine has worked very well in the past, but recently the system has been allowed to flounder, by people who do not understand history, who do not want to be reminded that the survival of all depends on fairness, and who thrive on a subtly corrupt system of favours and benefits for a select few.
In the future, we will see more legal, rather than political, diplomatic or military confrontations, since the corporations will slug it out using the money they have extracted from populations too stupid to prevent the inevitable. In the meantime, people will earn less than ever before, for jobs that were once considered skilled.
Religious confrontations, tolerances of variations in interpretation, and social control enabled by division and the imposition of changes in doctrine, are often the most directly bloody of the lot. Any study of religious history will tell you that life is extremely cheap when it comes to religion. As I have previously mentioned, religions have often historically formed to improve the performance of armies, as well as providing pastoral services, exchanging information across national boundaries and exerting social influence via regular meetings. There is nothing new under the sun, and the more intelligent reader should pursue a wide knowledge of religious history to understand the forces at work, and their relationship with the ultimate worship of money. There is ultimately no such thing as a benevolent religion, because religions seek to restrict behaviour and impose shared values where there are none.
A wise person seeks to control their own anger, and so improve their ability to tolerate confrontation, because this is the difference between fitness to rule, and a lack of fitness to succeed at a much lower level. The same can be said for countries who seek to impose their values on others via military intervention. All empires wax and wane for this reason.
The same can also be said for religions which preach intolerance and a hatred for others. A mature religion has learned the importance of remaining benign to preserve the sanctity of life. If you are asked to die for your religion, then there is a significant problem.
Beware of people, countries and religions declaring themselves perfect, pure or true, because they have lost their sense of relativity to others, including you. The only result in all of those cases is ultimately death.