Conflict Resolution Strategies: Rumi: Internal Conflict Poem

As regular readers of this blog know, we take the view that larger scale conflicts have much in common with individual conflicts.

The ineffectiveness we see in our individual interactions is reflected in our organization’s conflicts and global conflicts. And Lesser Bush, or Henry Kissinger, or whoever, handle conflict in the ways they do for reasons of individual psychology, as much as for political or intellectual reasons. See the very though- provoking book ‘The Bush Tragedy‘ by Jacob Weisberg.

And it does seem that our internal conflicts and are tendency to project the unacceptable aspects of our personalities onto others is a critical factor in conflict. In this spirit I offer you the poem written by the 13th century Persian poet Rumi (1207-1273) جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى : see


The Guest House

This human being is a guest house

Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

Some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows

Who violently sweep your house

Empty of its furniture.

Still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be cleaning you out

For some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

Meet them at the door laughing,

And invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

Because each has been sent

As a guide from beyond.




About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
This entry was posted in Conflict Book Reviews, Conflict Poetry, PERSONAL CONFLICT RESOLUTION: CREATIVE STRATEGIES, Uncategorized, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Conflict Resolution Strategies: Rumi: Internal Conflict Poem

  1. Alice says:

    I like this site so much, saved to fav. “To hold a pen is to be at war.” by Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire.

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