Encountering conflict

Essay by jackos44High School, 12th gradeB+, September 2014

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Throughout history, conflict has been an prevelent force for human beings, shaping our lives and interactions with one another. Conflict is ultimately the greatest paradox because when we react to conflict, it can often reflect the worst of our nature. A clashing of ideas has been important throughout history, as it tests the complexity of the human condition, exposing flaws, similarities and ideologies within our personalities, consequently, giving society a chance to strengthen and grow. Human beings are fearful of what is foreign or unknown to them either to the eye or within the mind. When humans are wedded to notions of difference and locked in their own sense of righteousness and notions of cultural superioty, a collision of ideas can highlight the ignorance within our natures and actions. Moreover, when we encounter conflict, our sense of greed and need for control of others is often illustrated in our actions.

Though conflict highlights the worst elements of human nature, the manner in which society has encountered conflict throughout history has also highlighted our capacity to perform acts of valiance. In times of injustice, people become willing to stand up for what they believe in despite the social norms or consequences they face they selflessly recognize the rights of human beings and pursue justice.

When people are faced with beliefs or concepts different to own, our response can often be to feel fear. This fear tests our ability to form appropriate judgments and causes us to respond irrationally in times of conflict, based on our need to feel secure. Similarly, such reactions to fear are often derived from a sense of ignorance, which stems from a notion of wanting to be secure, highlighting the cyclical nature of conflicts where the roots of conflict more often than not, contain the seeds of...