A couple of times before I’ve referenced Ian Leslie’s excellent book, “Conflicted”. It’s highly readable, built on the idea that we live in very polarised times, but we really need to learn to get along with each other.
I found it fascinating for a couple of reasons. One is that the author meets and interviews people who have not only been at the centre of some very deep and public conflicts (the revocation of apartheid in South Africa, the killing of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville in 2017, and many others), but who have reached out to those on the opposite sides of those conflicts to make some kind of peace.
The other is that he attempts to draw some lessons for the rest of us.
There is much great advice here, split into two parts. He has the main “rules”, each of which constitutes one book chapter. And he has many other pieces of advice which appear more briefly in the appendix. All of these are important, and any one can be useful in any conflict situation we might find ourselves in, or approaching.
I wanted to assemble all these pieces of advice into one picture. For example, some pieces of advice relate to culture, some to language, and so on. And some, of course, falls into more than one category. A Venn diagram would be a mess, so instead I created a “Tube map” to link them all together.
The image in this post is too small to read, but if you click on it you’ll get a larger PDF. Each stop on the map is one piece of advice—I’ve reworded some of them so that they make more sense out of context.* The Rules line on the map represents the book’s main chapters. Each other line represents some other theme.
“Conflicted” is a great read, and useful for our everyday lives, too—not just those of us who are seeking resolve national or international conflicts.
* Although “Remember you’re weird” probably still looks odd. WEIRD is an acroymn.