Clown’s Red Nose

The former Norwegian army peace keeper and mine clearer, who had served all over the Middle East, in Afghanistan and the Sudan conflicts, I had dinner with on Saturday told some amazing stories.

One of them was that in the violent war-torn Sudan, when they arrived in a new village, in their blue UN berets, he would mingle with the locals. Then he would find a group of kids playing. He had a clown’s red nose in his beret and would put it on, and then pretend not to know what the kids were laughing about. Worked well…and helped the adults see the Norwegians were OK people.

But one time, he and his UN Land Rover were approaching a road block manned by very twitchy hostile looking teens with AK-47s and no adults present. He thought: “this is not going to end well”.

But then he had an idea. As he approached closer to the road block, he put his clown’s red nose on and stuck his head out the window and said in the local language: “what’s the problem?” And the dangerous teens fell around in laughter and simply waved his vehicle through. 

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 History, Conflict Humor, Middle East Conflict, Top Ten Conflict Tips from Great Thinkers, Uncategorized, Ways to handle conflict and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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