The science of conflict is coated in hues of black and white glazed with layers of perpetual misery.
Valjean and Javert, two worthy opponents whose differing points of view placed them at odds with one another, were both wrong. And they were both right.
They merely disagreed and ultimately managed to impact a small revolution that changed the course of both their lives, leaving one dead, alienating the other and finally having them come back for the curtain call as ghosts. It seems ironic that the two strongest voices couldn’t find harmony in the blending of their discourse.
It was all seemingly a waste of time, or was it?
If they had sat down and listened to each other, instead of holding on to their steadfast views, perhaps they could have manifested a different outcome.
But that was not to be – the conflict was part of their persona and it was ingrained into their destiny early on. They could not change who they were and they could not alter what was meant to be.
Sometimes conflict needs to exist to create the outcome that life’s book has planned. Dissension breeds alternate landscapes upon which we paint and propel our stories. Sometimes, it even creates harmony by separating, permanently, two drastically different thought patterns. It becomes easier to ignore the ugly than to continue the argument – the role of conviction enters the arena.
Conviction is a mighty shield upon which to guard us from the rations of misery allotted to our lives. It rationalizes our lack of movement at the cusp of impasse, it allows us to stand firm and it allows us to not move past the conflict but rather to hide and continue to fight it – by ignoring it.
These actions do not make us wiser or more respectable. They don’t make us feel any relief. They leave us at a midpoint between perceived right and perceived wrong where no one emerges victorious, conviction becoming an empty container of profound, meaningless righteousness.
In the end, between the right and wrong, between the debatable conflict and between the inevitable outcome, only one thing is certain…
Nobody involved in this tug of war over legacy hurts feels any less miserable.