“My greatest friend was the foe I could not best,
someone who cut me off at the pass, who made me better with each test”
* Conflict creates a psychological fusion. Like Highlander or samurai understood, finding a worthy opponent was the joie de vie. To prove, test, and improve your mettle was more rewarding than all else, even winning. You can equate complacent peace or easy victories with death.
* Polite interactions and peaceful transactions are superficial confirmation of what you know. Even if dissent is reached, in a polite social setting, the tectonic plates do not shift, but perhaps a chair might move from underneath your company with their departure, or at worst, a physical threat presents itself.
* Stubborn resistance, however, demands immediate assessment of where the scenario “went wrong.” I say this in quotations to note that, despite the negative and unpleasant repercussions amassed due to conflict, they pale in comparison to the false sense of security that is “peace and quiet.” Conflict tells you where you stand. Conflict-avoidance, however, allows you to assume, incorrectly and naively, that you stand on solid ground. We all know that to assume is to “make an ass out of you and me”
* A complaint from your lovers and customers, a physical failure or threshold, or maybe something as innocent as an unrequited desire mixed with delay, all serve as a clearing of the air and a focusing of priorities. “Eye-openers” are expensive, but well worth the investment.
* Like a song that you hate that is stuck in your head, or how you obsess over your mortal enemy, picking the right challenges and sparring partners is vital to your progress, as they seep into your psyche by force and with ease. Often staying with you long after the battle, they become defining moments that guide your footsteps, so choose better opponents to conflict with and ignore the vermin, for you will become them.
Conflict and hardship are feedback. All else is a guess.