I just read an article in the Canadian Gazette by Tara Gesner called “Carleton Place Deputy Mayor ‘Disgusted’ by Behaviour of Local Church Leader” and shook my head. Unless you have been hiding under a rock in Carleton Place—the chocolate wars continue, and the whole case is on its way to OMB for a final decision. Did it really have to go that far?
I am no theological student, but I have to quote Amos 3:33-“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so”? That means:can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? Obviously not in this instance. The design of these words is to show, that without friendship there is no fellowship, or agreement. It’s not because you have a different opinion. People just love being right, and they can’t imagine being wrong.
Of course conflict is a positive element of all groups. Without it, people would not be challenged to think beyond their everyday, routine boundaries. When a variety of people with different perspectives, values, experiences, education, lifestyles and interests come together, differences abound.
Conflict can also be negative and adversely affect the success of any project like it is now affecting the town of Carleton Place. The solution is for both groups to deal with this issue constructively, before it becomes embedded, spreads and erodes the foundation to the point where it cannot carry on any longer.
All conflict involves at least two parties – two or more people, two groups, two countries, a person and a group. Some sort of struggle or threat, either real or suspected, and interaction or interference takes place.The interaction may become emotional as it has now by the recorded feelings of Deputy Mayor Jerry Flynn and Father David Andrew.
Sides and lines have now been formed in Carleton Place and people raise questions- who is right and who is wrong. Each side has gathered support, and are justifying their position. If this continues on it will cause permanent barriers in the town of Carleton Place. It’s already happened with the local neighbours around the projected business.
If resolution means domination, cold war or isolation, the cycle of conflict may continue forever. A prime example of that is the Findlay House on High Street where three councilmen held a grudge against the Findlays for years. The result? A prime real estate lot now sits empty, and is a total waste on a beautiful street. Have we not learned anything throughout the years?
Everyone needs to sit down and listen to both sides equally. They need to identify areas they have in common, and we need to express that they need to find some sort of solution. Right now you can’t change either sides views. It’s not even a good idea to try.
Now this will become a precedence in further new businesses coming to Carleton Place. Both sides have delayed in coming together to do whats good for Carleton Place. Now the decision is going to be made for them by the OMB. Neither side will let go of anything until it is perfect, which it never is.
Disagreeing is not a crime. When someone disagrees, most people take it personally and treat it as an offense. But that is how we have been trained or programmed—to win. It might be anything–from a silly argument to a chocolate war. Who loses out in all this? No one but the town of Carleton Place and its population. We are in dire need of new business presence and new ideas in this town. The town’s residents are already adept at travelling distances to shop—how much more do we lose? Things to think about.
Some people could be so fanatical about their political views and remain totally opposed to any other views. Fanaticism makes people blind to reasoning. Mustapha Tahir
NB-Just heard that Reads Coffee Shop and Book Store on Bridge Street is closing. New blood feeds old blood and makes a great union. When is everyone going to learn?