The word dynamic means lively, vigorous, vibrant or changing. Therefore vibrant peace can include the differences, disputes and conflicts that seem to strengthen some relationships rather than cause harm. Dynamic peace allows a relationship to grow through, or because of, the existence of conflict. The difference is in how the people involved respond to the conflict and what they are centred on as they express their views. People can be very assertive in ‘robust discussions’ and still keep within the guidelines of conflict resolution. They strike a balance, without being aware of it, between their need to belong and their need to assert themselves as individuals.
In 1996 this concept inspired me to register the business name Harmony in Dispute. To me, that captures the fundamental of dynamic peace in human relationships at every level, from the interpersonal to the international. And the guidelines for establishing dynamic peace are the same at all levels too. No matter what age or position we hold in life, we are still struggling to resolve the childhood inner conflict between the need to belong and the need to assert ourselves as individuals. All adults are just grownup children who mainly learned how to resolve conflicts in their family setting and, if that early experience was negative, they may continue to resolve conflict in a negative way. However, it’s never too late to learn to transform conflict into the creative conflict that is part of dynamic peace.