Finding Meaning In A Protest

by Patrick Liew on July 26, 2011

On 9 July, 2011, I was walking back to my hotel after having lunch at a food court nearby. Suddenly, I heard a loud rumbling sound.

Before I knew it, I was literally surrounded by thousands of people. They were protesting against the Malaysian government under the banner of Bersih 2.0.

Fear struck my heart.

In such a situation, anything could happen.

One accidental trigger – fightings and destructions might break out.

I could have become a victim.

Fortunately, there were no major catastrophes.

Next day, it was interesting to read that the protestors have announced they have won the day.

The police also claimed to have won the day.

Interestingly, the ruling parties also laid claim to winning the day.

Is that what you call a win-win-win results?

I wonder, what if lives were lost and people maimed? What if properties were destroyed?

How will the key players respond to it?

I don’t have the answers for the wars and conflicts on a bigger scale.

On a smaller scale, I see similar conflicts happening every day.

I want to learn how to resolve them for myself and others.

After being involved in conflict resolutions and mediation projects, I have learned some major lessons.

As long as I have to work and interact with others, there will be conflicts.

I might not be able to prevent conflicts. However I can have a more loving heart and be more competent in resolving them.

Deep in my heart, I want to have peace and be a peace-maker. Without such a commitment, there can be no peace in and around my life.

One of the biggest challenges to conflict resolution is my ego.

Sometimes when I give up my need to be approved, to criticize, to control, and to have it my way – I can find peace within myself and with others.

Breakthrough in conflicts begins when I dare to say I can be wrong. There is always a better way.

The better ways are oftentimes proposed and directed by others.

When I learn to be others-centered and not me-centered, I can build better relationships.

As I look after other people’s needs, they will also be more willing to look after my needs too.

The opposite is also true – when I seek to serve only my selfish interests, there will be more arguments, quarrels and conflicts.

If I want to resolve my conflicts with the others, I must not just expect them to understand me. I need to understand and build bridges with them too.

When I spew poison against the other party’s poison, in the end, we will both die of poison. Even if the other party stays neutral, I will die from my own poison.

Life is already too short for love, joy and peace. Why waste more time on unhealthy conflicts?

Even if I cannot resolve my conflicts, at the least I should leave the world a better place than when I first came into it. I can compromise my short term interests for long term benefits.

Peace is priceless.

Peace begins with me.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question:  How can we resolve conflicts in our lives?


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