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Monday, February 19, 2007

Book Review: The Anatomy of Peace

In “The Anatomy of Peace”, the Arbinger Institute has written another book to parallel their book “Leadership and Self-Deception”. You can’t really call it a sequel as it doesn’t continue the story of the first. Actually, some of the characters that were central to the first appear here in more of a prequel scenario.

So what does Anatomy do differently than Leadership and Self-Deception (LSD)?

Whereas Leadership focused on personal relationships in a work environment, Anatomy focuses on our personal relationships in the family environment. The same thinking out of the box techniques from LSD are discussed here but with specific application to your personal family relationships. Hence, parallel rather than sequel or prequel.

The dust jacket for The Anatomy of Peace says:
“Through an intriguing story of parents who are struggling with their children and with problems that have come to consume their lives, we learn from once-bitter enemies the way to find peace whenever war is upon us. Yusuf al-Falah, an Arab, and Avi Rosen, a Jew, each lost his father at the hands of the other’s ethnic cousins. The Anatomy of Peace is the story of how they came together, how they help warring parents and children to come together, and how we too can find our way out of the struggles that weigh us down.”
The story takes us carefully along the trail to peace complete with diagrams to help explain the concepts. The diagrams build up piece by piece to a complete whole. Getting out of the box requires recognition that you are in the box in the first place. You can look for signs of placing blame or self justification as symptoms of being in the box. Being in an “us versus them” relationship status.

Find an out of box place, a place where you can literally step back and see things in a different light. What really are the differences? What do you have in common? Generally, there is more in common than different. Building from the commonness to an understanding of the differences is helpful. You can begin to resolve the differences, to seek ways to avoid the conflict, to seek ways to work together instead of against each other. Then the final step is to stay out of the box. Not an easy step. The temptation to revert to the box is present. How we choose to respond is the key?

Bottom line, this choice is present in most everything we do. We can choose to be in charge of our life and our destiny, or we can accept what is handed to us.
“A culture of change can never be created by behavioral strategy alone. Peace --- whether at home, work, or between peoples --- is invited only when an intelligent outward strategy is married to a peaceful inward one.”
This book is both timely and timeless. That is, it is important to read today to help understand that we can get out of the troubles we seem to be in. There is hope. It is a choice. It will not be easy. It will be work. It will be hard but it is possible. The book is timeless as I believe the message is an eternal one. The message, the Anatomy of Peace, can carry us forward.

I heartily recommend this book.

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Comments on "Book Review: The Anatomy of Peace"


Blogger Waltitude said ... (5:49 PM) : 

I am even surprise that there is not more press about it. It really influenced me deeply when I read it. Simple teaching but tough to apply.


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