Updated: Feb 2
In our society, the definition of conflict is often reduced to mere disagreement and argument. Yet, conflict is so much more than that. It represents a clash of differing perspectives, opinions, and experiences.
As a person who frequently experiences feelings of conflict, I understand the complexities of this phenomenon.
A quick Google search provides a narrow and limited definition of conflict as "serious disagreement and argument." But this reductionist understanding of conflict fails to recognize the deep-seated emotions, power dynamics, and historical legacies that often underlie conflicts.
Conflict is not something to be feared or suppressed, but rather a necessary component of growth and change. Conflicts highlight what we hold dear and what is truly important to us.
When we are unable to tolerate conflict, we risk stifling growth and creativity. When difference is suppressed, abuse and oppression flourish. This is especially true in systems that perpetuate the dominance of privileged groups, such as white males.
However, conflict must not be conflated with abuse. Conflict is not the same as the systems that oppress and diminish the experiences and perspectives of marginalized communities.
Conflict, when navigated with empathy, compassion, and a commitment to understanding, has the potential to foster transformative change and promote a more equitable society. So let us embrace conflict and engage in its complexities, for it is through conflict that we can create a more just and loving world.