Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Why conflict is good

I was sitting at the kitchen table with Izzy recently. It was one of those calm, contemplative afternoons. All was quiet in the house. We simply enjoyed each other's company. She ate her after school snack while I dotingly watched her like the mama bear I am.

While chomping on her cheesy quesadilla, Izzy's eyes traveled to a book she had recently checked out from the library. "How's the book?" I asked.

"Hmmm... it's kind of boring," she replied.

"Really? The cover makes it look good," I observed. "A cute cat who makes really cute crafts? Seems fun!"

Izzy paused.

"Yeah, but there's nothing interesting going on in the cat's life. Everything goes her way. There's no conflict. It's boring."

Wow. From the mouth of babes.

Just when you think you have all this wisdom to pass along, wisdom from life experience and from being a grown-up, you're reminded - Nope! - often kids are our teachers.

You know what, Izzy? You're absolutely right! Challenges are what make life interesting. Conflict in a storyline makes characters come to life. Conflict is relevant. Who doesn't love a juicy bad guy? Who doesn't jump for joy when the protagonist triumphs despite adversity? How we handle conflict reveals our character. Just like resistance in a good workout makes our muscles grow, conflicts are opportunities for soul growth.

"The hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life."

Needless to say, Izzy returned that cat book to the library and is now reading about the adventures of a young girl who must try to rescue her kidnapped mother with the assistance of a mysterious amulet.  

The powerful bond between mother and daughter.