Today I heard an interesting anecdote at a seminar on Russia. I think the story sums up the academic discipline of "conflict resolution."
The hostess and guest speaker had participated together previously at an international seminar on conflict resolution. Among the other participants was a couple haggling over a disputed territory in the former USSR. They brought up 1000 years of historical grievances. Stalemate. Tension. Unhappiness.
Up walks a Harvard University academic expert in peaceful conflict resolution.
"What you need to do," she tells the bickering couple, "is to forget your history and look to what you can do by working together in the future."
Hearing this, the disputants exploded in rage. For the conference luncheon, the organizers seated the two at separarate dining tables at opposite ends of the room.