Dichotomy! Human nature? Conflict or complement?

00-dichotomy_sm2According to Wikipedia, dichotomy can be defined as:

“A dichotomy is any splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts.  In other words, it is a partition of a whole (or a set) into two parts (subsets) that are:

The two parts thus formed are complements.”

Can someone… anyone… please help me understand what seems to me to be the human penchant for making conflict where none needs to be?  I think nature is full of dichotomous examples that, instead of leading to conflict are complimentary.  In fact, my understanding of the definition of dichotomy leads me to believe that differences are complementary and shouldn’t be the cause of conflict.

Yet… Apple vs. Microsoft (same domain – computers); Shi’a vs. Sunni (Muslims); Catholics vs. Protestants (Christians)… conflict abounds. Are these true dichotomies?  Not really.  There’s almost always: a third option and/or middle ground as well as something shared by both sides.  So, again… why choose to see these relationships as in conflict?  Why not look at them as complementary systems?

For example, Apple and Microsoft.  Does one HAVE to be better than the other?  Why not admit the strengths of each one and use each system for what they’re good for?  (of course, I say this because our school is in the process of switching from Windows PCs to Macs and I like both!)

Let’s try to find something within the people that we deal with on a daily basis that can complement our own strengths.  Go for the win-win.  Why make (or further involve ourselves in) conflict when we can shift our perspective and learn something new or be a stronger team by complementing each other (double-entendre intended).

COMPLEMENT or CONFLICT?  The choice is yours.


2 thoughts on “Dichotomy! Human nature? Conflict or complement?

  1. Sharon Wilson

    Great post! One thing I can share is that: Conflict is what makes a hero – what allows him/her to discover who they are and what they are made of. There’s no happy ending without it, even on spiritual marketing.

  2. jlevno Post author

    I totally agree! I ended up getting carried away with the “Complement or Conflict…” ending. I’m really just trying to minimize unnecessary conflict. There is plenty of necessary conflict that helps us sort out who we are, what our positions are, etc. Thanks for the comment!


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