In a clash of wills: victory or surrender?

AVOIDING A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS. Does that sound like a bit of a stretch when it's about all you can do to dodge a clash with your own daughter who is determined to get a body piercing you find unacceptable? Or prevent a squabble with a domineering co-worker? Or maybe escape an angry reaction toward someone who just cut you off on the freeway?

Maybe a clash of civilizations isn't really so distant from your daily routine. After all, the term civilization isn't too many steps away from civil, which describes how individual citizens relate, and civility, which involves respect and tolerance.

Keeping things on an even keel with all the people you relate to is no easy task. A clash of civilizations—just like a clash with someone you care about personally—ultimately boils down to one thing: will. The religious views of most civilizations would likely relate positively to a phrase in a prayer offered by Jesus. Talking to God, he prayed, "Thy will be done." That's a prayer that could bring civility not only to your family or your co-worker, but to whole civilizations.

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Employment Opportunity
April 22, 2002

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