Bumping Into Another: The Joy Of Conflict

My counselor says she doesn’t have the wisdom to do what she does. Any wisdom she may have, she says, comes from God.

Well, wherever her wisdom comes from, it’s there for sure.

She and I have discussed interpersonal conflict. I’ve had a negative view of conflict in the past. I’m sure many people do. In fact, when I discussed community and family with someone recently, they wondered how everything could be sunshine and roses.

Well, everything is not sunshine and roses. But it’s how you approach it that makes you grow.

People you meet in your life have the ability to help you grow as an individual. Personal growth and development is something we should all aspire to.

I’ve come across many people in my life. And I lived for many years in a combative environment–philosophy. But life–and philosophy!–don’t have to be combative.

When you bump into another–someone with a different view from you, someone with a different worldview, etc–you don’t have to respond with combativeness. Even if they are jerks, which a lot of people are, you can learn from them. They can help you grow. In fact, it’s my little secret these days that, when I bump into another, I try to take away some kind of thought and growth–even if they don’t take away anything. I’m not responsible for their growth. Only mine.

This way of being in their world can work for practically anyone. If you are a Christian, it’s argued by many that God wants you to be as mature as you possibly can. So take the time to learn by bumping into another.

I call it “bumping into another” because when thoughts collide, you can feel the reverberations inside yourself. This can make you grow. And, just like bones need tension in order to be strong, so your character needs tension by bumping into people with different views from you. I’m not saying, again, that it’s all going to be sunshine and roses. I’m not even saying your going to have a great experience when you bump into another. It’s the reverberations inside you that will give you insights about things, people, the world, and so on.

So, go ahead. Bump into another. You may grow. And, if they are lucky, they will grow, too.

Author: Jennifer Lawson

Philosopher. That is all.

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