To view more of Sophia's art go to or

to purchase prints and cards of her artwork go to

If you see an artwork on this website that you like but it's already sold - please contact Sophia as she does commissions.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pick Your Battles

We all know that life contains conflict and unfortunately we aren't able to escape it. But one thing that it's important to learn in life is how to reduce conflict. A great way is to pick your battles.

I read this on and really wanted to share it with you - it is written so simply and if we all took the time to adopt these principles than I think it would go a long way to promoting peace and harmony.

To gain a better perspective on when to fight back and when to “let it go,” practice the following disciplines:

1. Spend time with people who are different from you. This helps you appreciate and understand how others think and work. You will be less inclined to judge or battle them.

2. In matters of personal preference or taste, give in. Keep the main thing the main thing. If you don’t save your energy for what really matters, you’ll wear yourself out and wear out your welcome with others.

3. Don’t take things too personally. In general, hurting people hurt people. And they’re also easily hurt by others. Keep that in mind when you’re on the receiving end of someone’s anger.

4. Practice the 101% Principle. Whenever possible in a difficult situation, find the 1% that you do agree on and give it 100% of your effort.

Adapted from Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

All the principles above are things we should be teaching our children from day one if we want any hope of creating a peaceful world for them to grown old in and raise their children in.

Number 1 on this list is something we were taught as children in my family and it is something I have worked hard to instill in my children. I believe that one of our jobs as parents is to present to children a smorgasbord of life and experiences - allow them the opportunities to experience, think, react, learn and develop their own opinions and thoughts. If we only ever let them eat green jelly beans their whole life because that's all we like, then we are making them miss out on the many other wonderful colours and flavours of the other jelly beans. Of course they may experience red, orange, yellow etc and still decide that green is the one that suits them best. Or they may decide that black is their favourite. Just because our children choose a different path from ours doesn't make them wrong - we still love them. And this needs to be transferred over to other people - just because they are different for whatever reason - doesn't make them wrong. Of course it's not as simple as just learning about other people, or understanding them - its about respecting that they are different. Once we take the time to understand others, respect them for their differences then we are one big step closer to world peace.

Number 2 is a great one - I decided long ago that most things don't matter. Whether we have pizza or Indian, watch sport or the movie, wear red or black etc. These are the little things in life which really aren't going to make a huge difference to our life. Let them go - put your energy into the battles that really need it - like animal cruelty, global warming etc. On the plus side you might discover that by "giving in" on the small things, that you make some one else happy and that is a reward in itself :-)

Number 3 is soooo true!! It is very important to try not to respond from the "got at" place - where you take things so personally. Yesterday I received an email from someone on our mailing list who was very upset and almost abusive at me for a typo - I spelt Coatesville without an e. She told me that it was offensive and disrespectful for the whole community. Of course it was a simple error, completely unintentional and not one that a spell checker piskc up. I apologised and reassured her that we would rectify the error. If I had chosen to take the attack personally (which was how it was written) then it would have left me in a blubbering mess - or angry and retaliating - however I realised that there must be something bigger going on here for her and responded with kindness, understanding and appreciation for pointing the error out. Admittedly her next email was just as rude - but as my partner says - the view is always better from the high road. If we all endeavoured to take the high road in conflict, think about how the other person feels, about how we would like to be treated if situations were reversed then we would be yet another step closer to peace.

Number 4 - this one is a new one to me - and I LOVE it!! I am going to give that a go next time conflict rears it's head - find that 1% of agreement and be thankful for that and then give that part the 100% :-)

1 comment:

Kay said...

Nice post, Sophia :-)