I found a great article in the Boston Globe Ideas Section titled The Good Fight. It's about one of my favorite topics - conflict. Whether you love the chance to get into someone's grill or you'd rather cut and run when things get hot, conflict is the inevitable byproduct of the human condition.
Whether it's Isaiah quoting God's instruction that we reason together or Rodney King's plea that we all just get along, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do about the conflicts in our daily lives.
This article discusses new research on conflict that challenges the conventional wisdom that conflict is a bad thing. Here's some of the good stuff in the article.
"As the study of conflict gains traction, researchers are examining which conflict dynamics might enhance our daily lives and how the right kinds of conflict may have merit on their own. At home, it appears, a resilient fighter can help a partner overcome a difficult childhood; at work, research is showing that more tolerance for anger can make for a more productive team.
This isn’t to say that all fighting is good. Hostility run amok, with name-calling and screaming, is counterproductive. Violence is worse yet. But this emerging research offers the heartening suggestion that conflict with other people — which is, after all, an inevitable part of social life — doesn’t have to mean a breakdown in relations. When done right, in fact, it can often mean just the opposite."
So, conflict done right can be a good thing. Knowing how to constructively engage in conflict is a discussion for another day.
As usual, I look for the link to my writing. Conflict is essential to a story. Throwing characters into the middle of a conflict will keep things moving. Whether they fight well or poorly can seal their fate - and ours.