Family, A Mummy, China Scenes, Future City, and Back to School
We have enjoyed our time with family, and my son Eric will be sending out a full report of Important Things when he arrives in Texas later this week. I hope you will be as excited as we are about progress being made here with both students and teachers!
I am sending a link with this newsletter that will allow any who are interested in seeing some of the tourist pictures….they are on shutterfly.com and allows an inexpensive way to order them online and delivered to your front door within a week.
The weather has been in the 95 degree range again, after a small break of the 85-range…air conditioner in the bedrooms having a hard time (82 degrees at 2 pm) keeping up but the fans are making it bearable.
We look forward to our students coming to campus on August 28 and getting our official schedules and textbooks.
This is a shortened newsletter, and we likely will publish fewer numbers as the second semester commences. Though our students will be new to us, and each will have compelling stories and varied interest…much of our weeks will no longer be the “first time.”
A good friend in South Florida, Gary Nix, made the observation back in March that “the newsletters the first few weeks are often the best since everything is brand new…and we enjoy seeing your reactions.” I think he is correct, as usual.
We will be making decisions about the next year (2012) in coming weeks. The school requires a decision on our second year in mid-November and will want a signed contract in December, we’ve been told. We have enjoyed our first semester, and know the second one will be even better, since we’ve developed great relationships and know more of what to expect.
Your prayerful support is greatly needed and appreciated! If you want to see our China pictures, copy-and-paste this address into your browser: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AatWrdq0ZtmbR
Time Heals All Conflicts?
Leaders or group members may verbally acknowledge they have a conflict, but may avoid dealing with it directly. They may consciously or unconsciously hope that time will solve the conflict. They may acknowledge it, but avoid it by never clearly and definitely deciding to confront it.
Although there is a time for everything and time is required for problems to be solved, questions to be answered, and healing to take place, time in and of itself does not solve problems, answer questions, and heal wounds. Time itself does not create intrapersonal and interpersonal problems and cannot in and of itself solve such problems.
If time solved problems, then man would be only a robot and not responsible for himself and what he does. If time heals everything, then all one needs to do is just sit back and wait for time to do the healing.
It is true that through the financial, educational, vocational, marital and family changes which people experience, they may look at particular problems differently than they did at an earlier time in their lives. But it is not true that time alone brought about this change.
Individuals inappropriately use time to ignore, avoid, or deny their problems or to refuse to seek effective solutions to them. Such misuse of time guarantees that their problems will not be solved, and that they will become more complicated and require more wise use of time to solve them at a later date.
Therefore, it is important to see that time is valuable in problem solutions only in the sense of how an individual uses it. It is true that a person’s memory can become dull over a period of time and forgetfulness can even occur, but that which is not solved in time can be made worse through procrastination.
It takes time to learn how to deal with conflict within oneself and in one’s relationships, but time alone does not resolve conflicts.
Leaders and group members who say they want to leave conflicts to time may be revealing the following:
- They actually are shirking responsibility for themselves and to other group members.
- They really do not know what to do and are not willing to be honest with themselves and others.
- They are not interested enough in helping other group members with their problems to experience the painful process of growing and learning how to be more helpful.
- They do not care enough to risk getting involved.
- They do not care enough to use some of their time for learning how to be with another in his or her pain. One of the ways of being cruel to people is to dismiss their pain and let time take care of them.
One of the most effective ways for a group to use time is for the members to experience their feelings in their seasons, regardless of whether the feelings are painful or pleasant. This being true, timing becomes very important in every aspect of the members’ lives. The leader and group member who learn to use time creatively learn to live creatively.
Resolving Conflict — Searching for the causes of conflict is essential to be successful in resolving the conflict. Possible causes of conflict:
- Conflict with self.
- Needs or wants are not being met.
- Values are being tested.
- Perceptions are being questioned.
- Assumptions are being made.
- Knowledge is minimal.
- Expectations are too high/too low.
- Personality, race, or gender differences are present.
Reaching Consensus through Collaboration — Groups often collaborate closely in order to reach consensus or agreement. The ability to use collaboration requires the recognition of and respect for everyone’s ideas, opinions, and suggestions.
Consensus requires that each participant must agree on the point being discussed before it becomes a part of the decision. Not every point will meet with everyone’s complete approval. Unanimity is not the goal. The goal is to have individuals accept a point of view based on logic. When individuals can understand and accept the logic of a differing point of view, you must assume you have reached consensus.
Follow these guidelines for reaching consensus:
1. Avoid arguing over individual ranking or position. Present a position as logically as possible.
2. Avoid “win-lose” statements. Discard the notion that someone must win.
3. Avoid changing of minds only in order to avoid conflict and to achieve harmony.
4. Avoid majority voting, averaging, bargaining, or coin flipping. These do not lead to consensus. Treat differences of opinion as indicative of incomplete sharing of relevant information, keep asking questions.
5. Keep the attitude that holding different views is both natural and healthy to a group.
6. View initial agreement as suspect. Explore the reasons underlying apparent agreement and make sure that members have willingly agreed
Conflict is destructive when it:
- Takes attention away from other important activities
- Undermines morale or self-concept
- Polarizes people and groups, reducing cooperation
- Increases or sharpens difference
- Leads to irresponsible and harmful behavior, such as fighting, name-calling joining in resolving the conflict
Conflict is constructive when it:
- helps individuals develop understanding and skills
- results in clarification of important problems and issues
- results in solutions to problems
- involves people in resolving issues important to them
- causes authentic communication
- helps release emotion, anxiety, and stress
- builds cooperation among people through learning more about each other
News from China: China is opening an international hotel every four days, making it the world’s fastest hotel market, Shanghai Morning Post reported. From 2010 until 2013, 90 new internationally branded hotels will have opened every year. The paper also said that the increase in business trips contributed to the healthy performance of the hotel market in 2010 and the first half of 2011, which also allowed hotels to increase incomes through occupancy-driven rather than price-driven patterns.
China’s inflation rose to a 37-month high of 6.5 percent in July on surging food costs.
General Motors Helping to Design City of the Future…in China
At the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, General Motors sponsored a “Futurama” exhibit that depicted what the world might look like 20 years in the future. Back then, suburbs connected to cities by high-speed expressways were the thing of dreams, but something that came to pass soon afterwards thanks in part to the vehicles built by GM and other automakers.
Now, the American company is collaborating with a Chinese-Singaporean consortium that is building a real-life city of the future where cars as we know them are set to play a much smaller role than they do today, but where a forward-thinking GM still sees a great opportunity for growth.
Located on the outskirts of one of China’s largest existing metropolises, the Tianjin Eco-City was conceived as a large-scale prototype for sustainable, high-density communities. A reliance on renewable energy sources and mass transit are key elements in its environmentally-friendly design.
But even though its creators are planning for 90 percent of its eventual population of 350,000 to get around town using a light rail system, there will still be a need for individual point to point transportation, and that’s where GM comes in.
At the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, the automaker unveiled the innovative EN-V concept, which mates a version of the self-balancing, two-wheel propulsion system used in the utilitarian Segway PT with an enclosed passenger compartment that seats either one or two people and has all of the creature comforts of a car.