By Joshua Wiebelhaus – I love conflict, because conflict encourages people to grow in talent. It helps us either rethink our positions or believe them more firmly.
I dive headfirst into conflict without looking back. When I was a kid I was the leader of a small band of boys and as is often the case with children a rival faction of children grew up to oppose us.
The conflict over the course of my childhood helped me grow as a leader, improve my character and develop my personality. I used my conflict to grow stronger despite my faction often being the minority; because I did this my faction grew to dominate the other because I refused to be beaten down.
“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.” -Horace
Without conflict many of the abilities a person has would never be discovered and they would not reach their full potential. Winston Churchill might never have become the leader he was without the threat of Nazi Germany. We could have never have heard of Abraham Lincoln without the issue of slavery. These conflicts were all terrible things but from which rose people that are greatly admired today.
Everyone we see as great today has overcome conflict in some manner or form. Even actors or music artists have to overcome obstacles to become better at what they do. In a perfect world we would see no one as great because without conflict what separates one person from another?
Is it not the sum of a person’s conflicts and difficulties that make them different from others? The adversities we face today shape us as a person and make us either great or small.
The greater the challenge and adversity the more a person’s talent will develop. However a person’s level of confidence can determine whether adversity will make or break them. People suffering from depression or low self esteem instead of thriving under conflict might shrink under it.
With the encouragement and assistance of friends and family though they too can become greater through adversity. A Study by University at Buffalo-the State University of New York and the University of California, Irvine shows that adversity really does develop people. People without adversity are not as emotionally stable as those who have more adversity in their life. These people reported better mental health and well being than people with a history of infrequent adversity and people with no history of misfortune showing that people really can develop into a more sophisticated person under stress.
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said the famous words “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” echoed today by the song by Kelly Clarkson. In growing through conflict it is important to see yourself as a survivor and not a victim. In one mindset you are developing your life and the other life is doing whatever it wants to you.
I’m not suggesting that you go out and punch someone and tell them it will build character but when conflict does happen don’t waste the opportunity. Use your conflict to grow stronger. You can still find small conflicts to help you grow as a person. Go out today talk about religion and politics with those who disagree with you, exercise, do something that is difficult for you because conflict is different for all of us.