Welcome back, dear followers. Today, we’re setting foot in Chicago again, drawn in by an iconic figure, Abraham Lincoln. This time, we find ourselves standing before a statue of a solemn, seated Lincoln. This depiction is officially known as Abraham Lincoln, Head of State, a powerful creation by Irish-born sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Chicago holds deep connections with Lincoln, not only for his leadership during the Civil War but also for his ventures into real estate, which helped shape the city we know today. As a Conflict Resolution Practitioner, I couldn’t help but wonder how his decisions and actions helped to evaporated conflict in his era.

The seated Lincoln statue, in all its solemnity, evokes a sense of the burdens that leadership can bring. Lincoln, ever the statesman, was a master of conflict resolution in his own right. He navigated through immensely challenging times, continually striving for unity and resolve. Standing before this statue, I could not help but reflect on my practice. The focus on helping others identify and challenge their assumptions is critical to resolving conflicts, a principle Lincoln embodied throughout his leadership.

Interestingly, this is not the only depiction of Lincoln I’ve encountered in my travels. Before March 2020 crippled the aviation sector I had been working in the UK helping to resolve conflicts between companies and their Unions. While there, I saw a statue of Lincoln in Manchester, a tribute to his influence on international trade and solidarity. Despite the geographic distance, the presence of Lincoln in both cities served as a powerful reminder of how conflict and resolution can transcend borders and have lasting impacts.

My encounters with these statues of Lincoln in Chicago and Manchester have prompted me to think about leadership and conflict resolution through a much wider lens. They are inextricably linked.

As we continue our journey, we will explore more such intersections of history, culture, and conflict resolution. Each stop is not just a place but a lesson, a new perspective, and a step towards rising above our clouds of conflict. Here’s to our next adventure. Until then, keep exploring, keep questioning, and keep rising above.

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