“The battles we fight within ourselves are the ones which ultimately define who we are’’ Conflict, whether it is between good and evil, strength and weakness or love and hate can define our true nature. It is the test of inner conflict that can ultimately reveal our altruistic qualities or magnify our malevolent character. How we choose to respond to the inner battles within ourselves may be used to judge our moral compass whereby our concealed intrinsic characteristics are exposed.
Internal conflict often arises from personal decisions between right and wrong, evil and good and one’s mannerisms are put to the ultimate test whereby their actions delineates their true character and ambitions, whether it may be fuelled with self indulgence or with a moral obligation. The human race consists of people with different qualities and flaws and it is difficult to control the nature and intensity of our responses to inner conflict. Those who possess inherently strong moral attributes are the ones who can override the instinct to act selfishly in times of great calamities.
Archbishop of San Salvador Oscar Romero acquires the strength and integrity to withstand atrocities without the need to act inhumanely. Romero’s internal conflict centred on whether he ‘would turn a blind eye’ to the crime and tragedies that surrounded him. He was face with the decision whether to allow total destruction, or will he have the courage to go against what the norm was and continue to carry out his responsibility as an Archbishop of San Salvador. Despite being continuously threatened and facing the prospect of death, Romero stays true to himself and those who supported his legacy.
With the aid of his strong will and immense courage Romero defied the pressure to give up and ignored the impulse to respond with injustices. His actions and responses magnified his innate philanthropic attributes that ultimately, defined his true identity. Conflict between good and evil is an invariable facet of human life and it is how we choose to respond to it that defines our character. It is the inner conflict that functions as a test and it depends on whether we choose to respond without cruelty or with rectitude that can fundamentally reveal our identity.
Oscar Schindler, a German businessman whose only desire was wealth encountered inner conflict that changed his character. Oscar Schindler’s motivations were simple, exploiting the war for his own benefit; he became a war profiteer. However, after experiencing detrimental terrors and encountering inner conflict, he surfaced and rose to the highest level of humanity from the chaos of madness and spent millions of his wealth in rescuing Jewish victims from the concentration camps. It was his enormous strength and sacrifice that intensified his inherently altruistic nature hence, defining his nature.
Everyone has the aptitude to respond to conflict purely with integrity or with complete immorality and it is only when one encounters conflict that can ignite the innate characteristics that coincide in all human beings. (Need to go deeper…) Not all individuals who encounter internal conflict can respond with integrity and veracity. In times of turmoil, various individuals succumb to their darkest impulses showing no evidence of humanity. They take the opportunity to exploit the desperate and grieving in situations of chaos to indulge their own selfish desires which is often fuelled with hatred and revenge.
Abigail Williams, the villain of the play ‘The crucible’ lies and manipulates the entire town of Salem sending nineteen innocent people to their deaths. William’s longing for power and love overtakes her conscience and ability to respond humanely, hence, it defines her true character. Armed with roving ambition, Abigail Williams tore down the very fabric that constituted humanity causing the destruction of Salem. Instead of dealing with her interpersonal conflict with integrity and righteousness she responded with the cruellest nature by taking revenge on those who was in her way of achieving what she desired.
Her deep lust for love and her immense hatred from rejection caused her inner characteristics to be exposed releasing a primitive character underneath. Consequently it was her inability to maintain her moral and rational strength after being disparaged for her affair that ignited and divulge her true egocentric identity. Most people in a situation of conflict like to think that they would not give into their base instincts and act inhumanely displaying absolute flaws parallel to that of Abigail Williams. We believe that we will act in our most courageous and honest nature mirroring those of Oscar Romero and Oscar Schindler.
However, most of us are auspicious enough to have not encountered inner conflict whereby our masks are stripped away to expose the hidden characteristics that are deeply engraved within us. We all posses the ability to either act with complete iniquity fuelled with hatred or with absolute kindness and integrity. How we respond, whether we choose to reject the impulse to carry out dissolute actions or to act purely with altruism determines who we are. We can only hope that we will pass the ‘test’ of conflict and have the will to transcend the temptation to perpetuate malice.