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Where Peace Is Lost to Conflict

Where peace is lost to conflict, how can we find it? Drawing inspiration for conflict transformation from science fiction.

I often find science fiction novels thought provoking and inspiring. The ones I love most offer a hopeful vision of a better universe, and often include a hero’s journey that starts with inner and outer conflict, but lead the characters and the worlds to transformation and healing.

I recently read one such book, Where Peace Is Lost by Valerie Valdes. The main character was a warrior leader in an organization, now forcibly disbanded by an evil corporate empire, that had defended and supported people and planets from injustice and cruelty. For them, violence was a last resort. Though they were well trained in the use of weapons, they focused on defending the innocent, and on healing and helping. As the novel begins, the main character is in hiding, afraid to take any action that could further threaten the humanitarian remnants of her former organization.  But, still  inspired by the organization’s soul stirring mantra, she risks everything to save the beautiful utopian planet where she found refuge.

 Where peace is lost, may we find it.

Where peace is broken, may we mend it.

Where we go, may peace follow.

Where we fall, may peace rise.

–Valerie Valdes

 A vision of peace

What an eloquent affirmation for our times and for conflict transformation work! It places peace first, not victory at any cost. It is a vision of compassion, the quest for a just peace with room for everyone to flourish.

Our world needs mending. And it requires all of us. I am no warrior with magical weapons, but I do believe conflict transformation can help our small corner of the world and the whole planet. In my own work,  I would change the last line, Where we fall, to where we fail, may peace rise. Even if we fail to transform a conflict at the time or reach resolution, may we plant seeds that later lead to peace. It is about honoring our efforts, even if the result isn’t everything we want it to be.  Peace is always worth pursuing. And transformation is always possible.


Lorraine Segal

After surviving the 50's and 60's, as well as twenty years in toxic academia as a tenured professor, Lorraine Segal was inspired to started her own business, Conflict Remedy (, happily teaching, coaching, blogging and consulting around workplace conflict transformation. She is addicted to reading novels and enjoys walking and… MORE >

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