The Anatomy of Peace Book Summary - The Anatomy of Peace Book explained in key points
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The Anatomy of Peace summary

The Arbinger Institute

How to Resolve the Heart of Conflict

4.1 (77 ratings)
10 mins

Brief summary

The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute is a powerful book that explores how changing our mindset and focusing on our own contribution can transform conflict and lead to genuine peace and unity.

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    The Anatomy of Peace
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    There are two ways to view those around you: with either war or peace in your heart.

    Let’s imagine that you were raised to fear and hate left-handed people, because two thousand years ago a group of left-handed people attacked your family’s right-handed ancestors.  

    But one day, you notice a man leaving a store that sells left-handed goods. As he’s in the middle of crossing the street, he falls and drops his bag, spilling his belongings. What do you do?

    There are basically two options: you can have a heart of peace or a heart of war.

    To have a heart of war is to see the person in need of help as inferior, or as an object rather than a human being, which is a sure way to perpetuate conflicts.

    Your inner-voice may tell you not to help him because you were taught that his people hate your people. But this frames him as only being part of a group or concept, rather than recognizing him as an individual.

    The heart of war suppresses our sense of compassion and urge to help; it’s the kind of mindset that creates and perpetuates hate, conflict and war.

    The better option is to have a heart of peace and listen to your sense of compassion – to see those around you as human beings.

    Even if you are forced into a war, you can still treat your opponent with compassion, which is what the sultan Saladin did in the twelfth century after the Crusaders massacred the people of Jerusalem.

    Eventually, Saladin’s Muslim army retook the city from the Christians, but he did not slaughter the innocent, as the Christians had a century before. He forbade his people to harm them, provided them with safe passage and even kept the city open to Christian pilgrims in the years that followed.

    This is what a heart of peace looks like: you choose compassion and treat others as human beings, burdened by their own fears and desires.

    Once this happens, others will be more likely to treat you the same way, increasing the likelihood of peace.

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    What is The Anatomy of Peace about?

    The Anatomy of Peace (2006) addresses an unpleasant fact: how common it is for people to resort to conflict as a way of resolving differences at home, in the workplace and in the world at large. Learn the reasons behind this mindset and how we can find a better way to move forward. There’s no reason to think things have to be the way they are today. With a little understanding, we can all choose the path of peace.

    The Anatomy of Peace Review

    The Anatomy of Peace (2006) by The Arbinger Institute is a thought-provoking book that explores how our mindset can either perpetuate or resolve conflict. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • By revealing the root causes of conflict and offering practical tools for creating peace, it empowers readers to transform their relationships and communities.
    • The book's compelling stories and relatable characters make it engaging and relatable, allowing readers to connect with the principles presented.
    • With its universal message of compassion and understanding, this book transcends boundaries and offers a refreshing perspective on conflict resolution.

    Best quote from The Anatomy of Peace

    When we start seeing others as objects, we begin provoking them to make our lives difficult.

    —The Arbinger Institute
    example alt text

    Who should read The Anatomy of Peace?

    • Professionals struggling with coworkers or customers
    • Readers who want less struggle and more peace in their lives
    • Parents and teachers eager to handle conflicts better

    About the Author

    Founded by scholars in 1979, the Arbinger Institute is dedicated to spreading a message of peace through books, trainings and other means. The Institute has over 300 members, including coaches and staff members who work in offices located in eighteen different countries.

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    The Anatomy of Peace FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Anatomy of Peace?

    The main message of The Anatomy of Peace is to choose peace and understand the power of changing our hearts and minds.

    How long does it take to read The Anatomy of Peace?

    The reading time for The Anatomy of Peace varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Anatomy of Peace a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Anatomy of Peace is worth reading as it provides insights into navigating conflicts and offers practical principles to foster lasting peace.

    Who is the author of The Anatomy of Peace?

    The author of The Anatomy of Peace is The Arbinger Institute.