We Don’t Understand the Purpose of Conflict

Jason Henry
5 min readSep 28, 2022
Photo by Nikola Johnny Mirkovic on Unsplash

Whether we like it or not, whether we want to admit it or not, conflict is one of the defining traits of eras, empires, institutions and individuals. Conflicts are usually the reason any of these things come into prominence and the reason they fail.

As a result, it behooves us to understand this often feared and resented aspect of life.

If you look up the definition of conflict in Google, you’ll find two definitions that really encapsulate the perspectives people hold of conflict. Conflict is either seen as “a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one,” or “to be incompatible or at variance; clash.”

In my opinion, the first is largely colloquial. Conflict does not have to be serious and it doesn’t have to be a long and drawn out debacle. Ultimately, it is a contrast (often a strong contrast) between two entities. With this understanding, there is no reason to fear conflict.

However, because conflict has elicited strong actions and reactions throughout history, it is natural for one to conclude that conflict must be dramatic and hostile. Even something as mundane as me calling the first definition of conflict “colloquial” is sure to cause conflict.

But if we were to look at how common conflict is in life, we would see that the bedrock of all conflict…



Jason Henry

Former Edu. Psychologist | Current Writer | Constant Learner | “By your stumbling the world is perfected.”