Sharing a beer isn’t usually enough to resolve conflict. Every day of every life brings conflict for us to work on. It may be at home, at play, at work or on the street. When it gets out of hand – in politics, in families, in social media – conflict is destructive or even fatal. But here’s an advert for beer that could seriously change hearts and minds – so that, even with the most polarised conflict, we find more to unite than divide us.
There are loads of books on conflict resolution for all kinds of situation. We cannot always walk away from conflict – if our country is invaded, or if our child is lost or at risk. Then the experts say we should find ways to calm down while we keep working things out together. The human race evolved so that our ideas can die but we don’t have to.
The trouble is it’s hard to calm down when we’re angry. We want to throw the book, not read it. Even this short video is about a longer experiment with four stages: 1. The Ice Breaker, 2. Q and A, 3. Building Bridges, and 4. The Decision
As well as books, all kinds of mediation and help is available. Adversarial kinds can never be much use: Wars only end when the talking begins. Embattled, separating parents find out too late that slow, unsupportive, adversarial family law is far from helpful, that it’s fuel on the fire.
Leaving the beer aside
Leaving the beer aside, well designed media like this short video can inspire those who’ve given up hope of resolving a conflict. The reaction to the advert is 100% positive. This four-minute warming – yes, warming! – shows that we can work together through our most polarised conflicts.