Kerfluffles are not the way of Peace.This has been a hard but useful lesson for me. What’s a kerfluffle you ask? According to Google, it is “a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views.” Think of it as indirect or inappropriately directed complaints that cause an upset, but do to solve a problem. I am somewhat conflict avoidant, which might surprise people who don’t know me well. I easily speak up on behalf of someone else, but I have been known to complain indirectly, to the wrong people, about something with which they have nothing to do and no power to make a difference. Which, in essence, is whining and gossiping — kerfluffling. Ew.
Complaining and making a fuss are not Peacemaking activities. They are, however, very easily engaged in, human activities. How do you respond when you observe these behaviors in others? My reaction is to get huffy, most likely because they offer me an opportunity to gaze into a mirror at my own unlovely, kerfluffling expression.
So much of Peacemaking is about relinquishing those sticky little getting-by-without-doing-the-work activities in order to have room to make Peace and invite people into the Joy of it. Therefore, kerfluffles are not Joyous either.
The holiday season provides opportunities to gather with family and friends. Inevitably, conversations will include kerfluffles and it is easy to get pulled into the unproductive complaining, joy dampening banter. At these times, I have to remember that kerfluffles are not Peacemaking — they are Peace-avoidance, they are Joy-avoidance. What if we became better at spotting them before engaging in them? What if we were to learn to disengage in helpful, Peacemaking ways?
My goal is to have people in my life who have different skills than mine so that I can learn from them. I choose to surround myself with people who are willing to acknowledge their own foibles, so we can laugh — ruefully — about them, and help ourselves get over our stumbling blocks. Peacemaking requires repetitive exercises and muscle building to get better at. No one sits up and says, “wow, I’m going to be a Peacemaker,” jumps up and strides off to accomplish great things, without a great deal of stumbling over their own feet.
We have to give ourselves a little grace about how long it takes to get good at the things we’re good at and better at the things we’re not so good at. What foibles interrupt your effective Peacemaking? Obviously, kerfluffling is one of mine. There’s value in being able to identify and live in the discomfort of our less than courageous idiosyncrasies. I truly believe it is easier to live as a Peacemaker than not. Let’s see, shall we? Together, let’s see!
Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.