In my second year class on conflict resolution our text book was John Burton’s work on conflict resolution and “provention”. Burton discusses the basic human needs that are fundamental and universal. Burton explores the possibilities for preventing conflict. He also distinguishes resolution from the symptoms of conflict. Therefore Burton says the peace is not necessarily and not always desirable. It is from this and other works from Burton that I came across the popular creativity books by Edward De Bono. My favourite De Bono book is on how to have a beautiful mind. The chapter on how to be interesting starts at page 40 of the book and I have included some quotes below:
“Being interesting is much more important than: winning an argument; or showing how clever you are. …The first rule is to talk about what you are good at and what interests you. … The ‘what if?’ approach involves playing with ideas. … Because it is so open-ended, an effort should be made to put forward ideas that are as ‘logical’ as possible. … the simplest of situations can be turned into an interesting game. … Putting forward alternatives and other possibilities can make the discussion more interesting. … Speculation also has a much higher entertainment value than truth. Playing around with ideas is both interesting and entertaining. … It is easy to see connections where there are none. Conspiracy theories and paranoia abound in imagined sinister connections. On the other hand, there is no harm in exploring possible connections so long as they are not taken seriously until proven. … Creativity is a skill and a habit. You need to learn and practise the skill, which then becomes a habit.”
(Source: Edward de Bono ‘How to have a beautiful mind’, (Vermilion, London, 2004). You may be interested in following the discussions on the de Bono Society.