A few years back, I was bored and interested in perhaps watching a movie that I, for the most part, do not regularly partake in.

I took my time in looking for just the right movie, and to my surprise, I found one. It was a remake of an old western in which the actor John Wayne stared, and was called True Grit. The premise of the movie was that this unorthodox, hard-drinking sheriff accepts money from a little girl to travel across the country and retrieve her father’s killer.

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Throughout the movie, the man was fair, firm, and somewhat friendly. In the end, the valuable lesson to take home was that the man showed that he had Grit, you know… that stuff that it takes to get things done in a way everyone, all but the killer, of course, gets their “just deserts” without creating more conflict with the desire for making peaceIn our chapter in social psychology this week the topic of conflict and peacemaking are discussed. One of the interesting questions that come up is, “How can peace be achieved?” The chapter then relates several theories of how to obtain peace, however, what is most interesting is that most people, institutions, and societies who desire peace, either do so deceptively, which creates more conflict, or it is done with ulterior motives, which again, creates more conflict out of the desire for peace.GRIT, such as the virtues that Rooster Cogburn displayed in the movie, is an acronym for “graduated and reciprocated initiatives in tension reduction.” It advocates a different perspective to the conciliation process of conflict in which all parties walk away, most importantly, unexploited. Grit triggers a reciprocal de-escalation by drawing on the social psychological concept of the norm of reciprocity, and the attribution of motives.

Moreover, the de-escalation is directed toward international tensions and requires the initiator to state their reduced tensions, declare a conciliatory act before making it, and invites the adversary to reciprocate. In other words, it means calling out to the bad guy that you’re laying your guns down, that you want him to come out with his, or her, hands up, and that he or she…should do the same.