Overcoming personal disharmony
and facilitating human evolution

     This document is complementary to others I have written sharing the view that the purpose of life for humankind is to together build a happy healthy and just world for ourselves and our children. This is achieved through individual learning which does not occur if life is proceeding in harmony but rather when there is disharmony which provides an opportunity to understand why and resolve it in a way in which the parties learn together with love in their heart; and thus, evolve.

    There are various levels of disharmony. Some are simple, like where are we going for a walk together this evening and others are more complex and deep-rooted. Interpersonal disharmony exists in all walks of life, in our relationships at work and with our friends and family. An example from a work environment occurred in a project where I was helping the organization undertake a process improvement project. The organization’s senior management had committed to doing the project. The methodology we were using was to have the project led by an internal group of respected front-line employees. When I met with the group, they made it clear that one of their members had been treated with great disrespect by a senior manager. They were not ready to proceed with the project unless the senior manager recognized he had made a mistake and apologized. The senior manager involved reviewed what he had done, recognized he had acted inappropriately, and made a sincere public apology to the disrespected employee in front of his colleagues. This one act resulted in a strong commitment of the team to the project. The project was a great success.

    A friend of mine was getting married and asked the people who attended the wedding to be vaccinated against Covid. The bride’s parents were part of the small percentage of people who believe it is dangerous to get vaccinated and so were not willing to do so. They chose not to get vaccinated rather than attend their daughter’s wedding. The daughter had her reasons and they had theirs. The daughter and her parents are now estranged. My friend is now distraught and has emotional pain because of the estrangement from her family. Hopefully my friend’s family hopefully will take on the challenge of accepting each other’s opinions and reconciling with each other.

    Overcoming significant disharmony between people can be viewed in a similar way as overcoming a deeply entrenched paradigm such as the domineering paradigm that has been prevalent in our culture and in organizational management. In Daniel Alkon’s book Memories Voice. He provides information on his research into how paradigms change. He asserts that strongly held beliefs do not change as a result of a day in school or intellectual indoctrination but rather from gaining a new experience which overlays the previous memory and is considered to be more relevant and appropriate. This can be viewed as learning by doing. In Von Bertalanffy’s book General Systems Theory, he shared that lessons could be learned from applying concepts that worked in one system of thinking to another. I suggest that this applies to helping understand that overcoming different interpersonal beliefs that cause disharmony can be realized by applying the same concepts of experiential learning that apply to realizing paradigm change.

    I believe this is a very important thought to consider by my friend and her family in seeking an understanding of how to ameliorate the estrangement between them. It may be something as simple as agreeing to have dinner together and share their mutual disappointment that the different beliefs have hurt the fundamental love for each other. Then they can move on.

    Disharmony between people can also be ameliorated by accepting and respecting differences they have but not by attempting to resolve them, and then doing something positive together which they can mutually enjoy. It is my view that human evolution takes place from the bottom up and when we have disharmony with others it is an opportunity for all parties to learn how to overcome the disharmony with respect and love.

    I believe humankind is challenged to evolve by partnering together to build a happy healthy and just world for ourselves and our children. I offer the notes in this document as an encouragement to myself and others to seek ways to address and overcome disharmony.

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