A Woman's Voice

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ Reconciliation versus Resolution ~ May 5, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

A while back I read an article that mentioned the difficulties a family had experienced before and after the death of their mother. The author of the article went on to say that she prayed for things to be resolved amongst her siblings and herself. The answer from God wasn’t quite what she expected it to be but in the end she felt that her prayers were answered nonetheless.  Reading this article motivated me to have a look at my own life and my personal ideas about resolution and reconciliation. Is there a difference and if so what is it?  I decided the best thing to do was to look up the exact meaning to these two words before I try to discuss this topic.

One definition for the word resolution is “the power to make choices and set goals and to act upon them firmly in spite of opposition or difficulty”. Another definition is “unwavering firmness of character or action”Yet another is “the quality of mind enabling one to face danger or hardship resolutely”. When I look at the meaning to the word resolution, what I see is a strong acceptance of a situation that you can’t do a thing about. I think that once you are resolute in your decision, you become unwavering no matter what the consequences. One of those consequences may very well be standing alone.  

When I looked up the word reconciliation, this is what I discovered. There were also several definitions but the one that stuck out the most was the meaning  “to bring something into a state of agreement or accord”. After careful consideration, I would have to say that reconciliation (agreement) is not always attainable while I believe resolution is. Perhaps, the first goal of any disagreement is to try to achieve a reconciliation whenever possible but if an agreement cannot be reached, then the next step is a resolution. I think that the writer of the above mentioned article was alluding to this fact with her family. Obviously, they were not going to agree, but no one was willing to compromise on their stand. In other words, it was a stalemate. 

In truth, she may have been praying for reconciliation with her family and ended up with resolution, although, this was not her first choice. The only possible answer to her prayers may very well have been resolution, which to me, means accepting that reconciliation is not possible for the parties concerned. The best course of action is to accept this fact and move on with life in a respectful and civil way. Resolution does not change anyone’s stand.  In other words, it’s agreeing to disagree without rancor.      



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