I’ve been following the Colombian referendum over the last couple of days. The country went to the polls to decide whether to ratify a peace treaty between the Colombian government and the FARC, and end a 52 year civil war.
Remarkably 50.2% of voters rejected the treaty.
The FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) was founded in 1964 as the armed wing of the Communist Party. The founding members were small farmers and land workers who banded together to fight against staggering levels of inequality.
I have a soft spot for Colombia, having spent a month there in 2009. I would say that Colombia is the most beautiful country I have been to, with the most welcoming people.
Things had recently started to open up when I was there. The military presence was noticeable, but in the main cities and on the main routes you were basically fine.
We spent a few days in Medellín, once a city at the heart of the troubles. I remember talking to a local, who told me that even five years before it would have been considered unsafe to visit as a foreigner.
Despite the FARC’s lack of visibility, it seems the emotional wounds of the people in Colombia run deep. The conflict has killed an estimated 260,000 people, although interestingly the areas hardest-hit mostly voted in favour of peace.
The contentious points in the deal were that FARC members would be reintegrated into both mainstream politics and society. Many believe they should be in jail for war crimes.
The bottom line for me is that hatred never leads to positive solutions.
If you look at this as a story, the masculine energies of command, control and revenge are still more dominant than the feminine energies of collaboration and understanding. And arguably, forgiveness.
Conflict in a story usually comes from an imbalance in masculine and feminine energy; usually a dominance in masculine energy or some kind of repression.
Masculine energy is associated with the ego, and not quite seeing things clearly. Will it matter in 100 years’ time if a few FARC members are pardoned? Probably not, but it is difficult to see that when you still see the red mist of revenge.
Everything you see in the media is a story. There are stories all around you. Without realising it we read and tell stories all day. Pay attention and you’ll start to see epic stories playing out everywhere you look.
Your business is also a story. Are you making the time to tell it?