WHAT CAN DIVORCING SPOUSES LEARN FROM A PHILOSOPHER OF WAR AND A PHILOSOPHER OF SONG?March 22nd, 2017
submitted by Art Kewin
Uncoupling is a consequence of spousal conflict that generates even more conflict. Typically, conflicts about kids, money, property, debts, cash flow, taxation and financial security now and in retirement. How spouses deal with their conflicting interests and settlement goals will determine their chances – and costs – of successfully resolving their conflicts.
Here is instructive wisdom about conflict resolution from a philosopher of war and a philosopher of song.
The warrior-philosopher, Sun Tzu, 6thC BC
“To win without fighting is best” The Art of War
The Art of War was written over 2,000 years ago. It is the classic treatise about the roots of conflict and its resolution; optimally, without going to war. Sun Tzu advises that the superior general achieves his objectives without the risk and cost of war. Sun Tzu’s teachings continue to influence military, business and political strategists today.
Sun Tzu was a Chinese warrior-philosopher. He takes a rational, rather than emotional, approach to the problem of conflict. He advises that understanding,
• those with whom we are in conflict
• those we choose to champion our cause, and
• the “the lay of the land” (paraphrasing), are essential to successful conflict resolution.
Moreover, Sun Tzu advises us to invest the time, energy and money to acquire those understandings before developing our strategy and before undertaking any tactical steps. Doing so may avoid the risk and cost of battle and achieve our ultimate goal.
The relevance of Sun Tzu’s wisdom for spouses needing to settle the parenting, legal and financial terms of their divorce is obvious. While The Art of War has a foundation in moral philosophy, it is fundamentally about the strategic advantages of taking an informed, self-interested, courageous, humane and most importantly – rational – approach to conflict resolution.
The philosopher of song, Leonard Cohen, 2016
Turning now to the emotive prayer of a Canadian philosopher of song, Leonard Cohen, Treaty, 2016.
And I wish there was a treaty we could sign
I do not care who takes this bloody hill
I’m angry and I’m tired all the time
I wish there was a treaty,
I wish there was a treaty
Between your love and mine.
At www.DivorceRoadMap.com we are dedicated to helping you
I. Win without fighting.
II. Negotiate your treaty.
D. Art Kewin, M.A.(Psych.), J.D., CFP
LEGAL AND FINANCIAL COUNSEL
Direct T: 604-536-1895