A conflict's importance lies not in its causes, but in its consequences. How could one argue that this is the case?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In order to argue that the importance of conflict lies in the consequences and not the causes, it is important to consider "the bigger picture." Conflict encourages DEBATE. That's good! Conflict does actually RESOLVE some issues - good. The distinction between good and bad conflict helps people manage it better. Historically some causes can never be erased but better understanding of each other and respect can make the difference.  

Conflict identifies flaws in relationships. Unfortunately for some, they realize too late. Family murders, suicides and physical abuse are some of the disastrous consequences. At the same time, those who are able to recognize that the conflict is detrimental can avoid marrying at all, calling it off or leaving a marriage perhaps, taking the children away, and so on. The consequences of familial conflict can be seen in dysfunctional people who were not so lucky and could not overcome the trauma of earlier conflict, sometimes even continuing the cycle and creating their own disastrous consequences later in life.  Conflict that is resolved in time can create better relationships - even if apart - and prevent a person from making the same bad choices again.

Familial conflict also becomes an issue in certain cultures when there is a clash between expectations, norms, traditions and lifestyles. COMMUNICATION is the key to these issues but sometimes the only way is to remove oneself from the situation as a solution is NOT possible. Honor killings exist in the 21st century! The cause of this socially unacceptable conflict changes nothing but the consequences are life altering.

In the workplace, conflict is common. It may be a power struggle, an over -zealous employee, a misguided worker or just a communication breakdown.  All these things have the capacity to create conflict. The consequences are often dependent on the parties' ability to negotiate. In the workplace, due to having different agendas and different interpretations of what's good for business, conflict can make the difference between staying functional and destroying the business.  Again, correctly managed conflict will allow for the business to move forward, maybe even improving business and staff relationships and development. Badly managed conflict may result in lost earnings such as with striking workers or worse.

Conflict Resolution became a coined term to meet the rising need to find ways that were less confrontational than traditional measures of settling disputes and disagreements.

Striking, as a form of conflict, often brings with it other forms of conflict. Violence may sometimes result. Although, initially striking may be the intent to show solidarity, due to destructive elements that often accompany strikers, it is easy for matters to get out of hand and for violence to escalate. A scared police force - faced with what they see as nothing more than an angry mob changes the whole face of conflict. Destruction of property and even loss of life are very real consequences of such badly managed conflict. Negotiation should be possible.  

Conflict CAUSES prevent negotiation in other situations. There seems to be no middle ground and COMPROMISE is not an option. This is found when religion and sometimes location are the source of the conflict. In these circumstances, resolving the conflict is NOT the priority but finding a way to live within it seems to be the only way.

The causes remain the same but the consequences change (and save)lives.