We structure our lives into stories to cherish experiences. This makes us the main character of our own stories. Through storytelling, we make sense of life. In this dynamic world where everyone has to undergo personal growth and development, conflict is an inevitable part of life. It makes us feel anxious and uncertain when our defense mechanisms activate, while it creates opportunities for self-improvement.
When Veronica Ruth talks about a utopian world where everything is perfect, she argues that “If there’s no conflict, there are no stories worth telling – or reading.” She would not write a story with a poor main character having no obstacles and setbacks to overcome. Authors like her prefer a dystopian world where the characters live in a miserable society that needs to be changed. Depending on a person’s point of view, a utopian fiction could be just like dystopian fiction. For instance, a world where everyone is rich and powerful is utopia to the poor; to the rest of us who consider the balancing concept in economics, it is not. If she were to write or read a utopian fiction, she would prefer a plot in which the characters are free-spirited and focused on their aspirations in life. In other words, she believes that a story would be boring without conflict.
We use stories to make sense of life. Perhaps, everyone wants to live a life filled with meaning, happiness, and fulfillment; however, not all stories reflect realities. Everybody is the main character of their own stories in real life. In fact, we consider ourselves as important characters in the culmination of God’s plan for mankind, the controversial human evolution, and all human history. This leads to self-realization in which we give meaning to our experiences.
Conflict creates opportunities to improve ourselves. If we become more flexible and open, then we will have a better reputation for being reasonable in dealing things. Perhaps, the greatest conflict of our ancestors is about how they could immortalize their existence— their culture, tradition, technology, and way of education and governance. Conflict had helped them generate solutions, gain trust, and establish strong relationships. Now, historians acknowledge the existence of ancient civilizations. When we are in conflict, we usually adjust to others and try to separate right from wrong. Being aware of other’s perception, we realize our own identity.
When we tell others about ourselves, we usually do it in a narrative way. This is how we communicate. Conflict influences the way we express ourselves. The common reason why we do not get what we want is because we fail to express what we want; however, we should observe a sense of balance in which we take a stance on a particular issue without being a complete pushover. In this era of fast communication and information, we are encouraged to be aware of the pressing issues in the society.
Conflict guides us in setting limits and making necessary agreements. For instance, giving up can be a sign of strength sometimes— the best option when we feel like we cannot win a particular conflict. Most of us do not know where to start or when to stop, so encountering conflicts can make us think of innovative solutions to solve them.
As long as we are alive, we inevitably encounter conflicts where the most innovative solutions come out of it. Though it makes us feel uncomfortable when we are exposed to it in real life situations, it creates opportunities for us to be better versions of ourselves. Likewise, it has literary importance to character development that advances the storyline and keeps the readers’ interest.