This weekend I was watching a docudrama about the famous feud between the Hatfield’s of West Virginia and the McCoy’s of Kentucky on the History Channel. The most historic parts of the feud took place between 1863 and 1891. The folklore of this historic feud lives on 100 years later and a truce between the two families was finally signed in 2003.

Some accounts claim the feud was started over one family member fighting on the wrong side in the Civil War. Others say it was over ownership of a pig that both families claimed ownership of. Whatever the cause it escalated into defense of family honor, justice and eventually vengeance without courts or trials.

Today’s Feuds

Modern day feuds are taking place in our country nearly every day. The Crips and Bloods street gangs are never going to sit down at any table and negotiate a truce. Feuds in the Middle East have been going on for centuries with no signs of slowing down. Republicans and Democrats, Tea Party and Occupiers, blacks and whites, pro-life and pro-choice, gay and straight, rich and poor are all loosely defined feuds in their own ways.

Personal Feuds

Feuds in the workplace are commonplace. Put more than two people together for any length of time and you’re going to have differences. In some cases they are minor and forgotten in a few days. If other cases they are resolved with one of both parties finding other employment.

Neighbors sometimes are at odds over property lines or a tree’s branches encroaching on the others property. A feud between to famous gentlemen was solved when Proctor and Gamble married sisters. It was pretty hard to keep that feud going over the Thanksgiving table.

Some Final Thoughts

I guess its human nature to engage in feuds. Not sure human beings are meant to live without conflict of some sort. In most cases its just differences of opinion but there are also those that morph into violence and death.

No feuds, no court system. Let’s face it lawyers were invented to settle feuds. Most feuds are resolved by compromise. Each side gives a little and takes a little and both parties walk away satisfied. Each party agrees to abide by the court decision and go on their merry way. That is unless your last name happens to be Simpson or Zimmerman. Who are you feuding with today?

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