Our lives matter too

By Precious Okenwa. She lives in Enugu, Nigeria and attends the Enugu State University of Science and Technology. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Conflict doesn’t always involve violence, they say, but little disagreements do escalate very quickly.

The statement that, “If there’s no conflict, there are no stories worth telling”, really threw me a curve.

Life is beautiful, and every day that is worth living gives us a story that is worth telling.

It doesn’t take conflict that might lead to the deaths of innocent, little children, to make it worthy of being told.

Conflict might be a great source for stories that are worth reading, but make no mistakes, it comes with a price or rather many prices.

The innocent eyes of children who lose their light every single day, from seeing too many gory sights. The lives of people wasted with no second thoughts. Little children starved and orphaned – these are some of those prices that we have to pay.

And if the worthiness of a story comes with these price tags, then it is not worth it.

No story out there is worth it if it is told at the expense of a life, one’s peace of mind or even one’s ability to sleep at night.

Rather than taking pride in telling the stories of men that fell in battle, or of the little children who stood and watched their parents be killed in war, I would rather tell the world of the little boy whose mother sold bean cakes down the street.

I would tell others of how he climbed under the table in his mother’s shop and read his books with her hurricane lamp, and the story of how he made his goals his priorities.

I’ll take pride in inspiring others with little stories like this and show that it is worthy of being told.

I live in an African country and I have seen first-hand the irreparable damages conflict can create.

It takes seeing a war victim to know that it is not always about the stories we want to tell.

It doesn’t always begin violently, but little disagreements escalate very quickly and, in the end, results in families burying themselves, children crying on the bodies of their dead mothers, numerous casualties, and the horror of it forever living in our heads.

Everyday, you put on your television and watch the effects of conflict in the world, calling it a worthy story of being told. However, you forget that there are people at the receiving end of it – people who bear the consequences of it.

We forget that there are people out there who can’t sleep at night because of these same stories we call worthy.

Therefore, I believe that every little story is worthy of being told, without a need for conflict.

We could tell you a story about a chrysalis we found hanging on the back of a leaf, and how we watched it until it broke open and released a very beautiful butterfly.

We could tell you the beautiful story of the old woman who knew the affairs of everyone down the street, and how she told them to any ears willing to listen up until the day she died.

A story is worthy of being told not because of its source, but because of how it is told and the lessons it teaches.

In the absence of conflict, there are many other things waiting for us to give them a face, thereby giving them an identity and making them one hell of a worthy story.

The after-effects of conflict are never made right no matter how many times that story is told.

Stories of life – of its beauty, its nature and even the world itself, are deemed worthy from my perspective, therefore, I won’t ever wait around for conflict to give me a prompt on how to tell great stories.

No matter how worthy a story may be, if the price for it is conflict, I would rather we discard it because no story, worthy or not, can ever justify the death of a three year old in the midst of a conflict, or of their siblings, or even the parents that brought them into the world.

Stories about a crystal clear river where everyone in my community gets their water from, to use for different things such as for healing oneself, or even the story of a boy whose mother had died at his birth, but who still grew up to make his mark in the world, are all worthy in their own right.

We don’t get to decide otherwise.

People are scarred from wars and wars are the end products of conflict, even ones that might have started off mild.

18 comments on “Our lives matter too

  1. Kingsley on

    Inspirational… Keep it up. I took now feel like telling beautiful stories, thanks for showing me this perspective of life.

    Reply
  2. Maryann on

    Nice work, it made me view the saying from another perspective.
    Conflict is indeed a great story prompt but these little things a worth telling about too.
    Keep it up dear.

    Reply
  3. Ezugwu Chinonso Charles on

    My baby girl… you have left me amazed by your writing prowesses… I m super proud of u honey… keep it up… I m rating this 5/5

    Reply
  4. Kareen on

    I was delighted to read an article like this one, it was enlightening and equally interesting.
    The world would be a better place with less violence. We have other beautiful things to tell stories about…
    Way to go baby girl, you did great.
    I love it!

    Reply

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