Can conflict be beneficial?
Yesterday, I went to see the movie Mary Queen of Scots for the first time. I have always been interested in period movies and especially English history. I knew her story but not of some of the intricate details of what eventually led to her downfall and execution. As I sat in the theatre, I began to think about all the wars and conflicts over time and realized that usually they resulted from two things, the lust for power or religion. Then I began to think what the world would be like if the rather than the fight being against each other, we fought together for common causes to better the lives of everyone and the lands where we live.
Conflict isn’t always bad as it brings about new ideas and thinking that eventually can lead to providing a better life for those affected by the conflict. It induces thought provoking challenges to come up with improved ways of doing things and new ideas to make our lives better. Where it becomes an issue is when it is mandated that one side win in the conflict over the other. It is at those moments that certain sides will go out of their way and pull out all stops, no matter the cost, to ensure that they win. If those desires were combined to produce an enormously beneficial outcome for all parties, then the dynamics of the conflict change.
I do believe in healthy competition, but is it always necessary for one side to win over the other? Think about a work situation where you have two teams competing against each other to create a product. That healthy competition pushes each side to come up with the best they can create and then it stops. What if at the end of that competition the two competing teams join together and use the combined intellect of the entire group to make the product even better than what was originally created, all for the good of the company? The same could be said for other areas of opportunities in our lives.
The unfortunate thing about conflict that requires someone to win and someone to lose is that there are many people caught in the crosshairs that suffer from that fight. People who are just hoping to live their lives with the resources they have available and hoping for a little better tomorrow. If the world ever figures out how to work together rather than against each other, what a wonderful world that could be!
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.
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