Monday Feb 19, 2007

Conflict and Self

People distrust strangers. Only in conflict can you "prove" yourself. In conflict your true self is revealed. On the stage, as well as in life, every one is a stranger who does not first "prove" himself. A person who stands by you in adversity is a proven person. Even an illiterate knows that politeness and smart talk are not signs of sincerity or friendship. But sacrifice is...

...Since most of us play possum and hide our true selves from the world, we are interested in witnessing the things happening to those who are forced to reveal their true characters under the stress of conflict... In conflict we are forced to reveal ourselves. It seems that self-revelation of others or ourselves holds a fatal fascination for everyone.

                                                       Lajos Egri, The Art of Dramatic Writing

While most can agree with Egri that conflict provides one medium for self-revelation, they may also see that community and care could provide similar media. In fact, all these aspects are bound up together. For example, community incorporates, in its very institution, passageways for a variety of conflicts and their resolution. However, one thing remains certain and confirms Egri's viewpoint. In the crucible of conflicts, characters reveal themselves most revealingly. We may extend our human observation and note that embedded in every conflict, justice will show its weight and import regardless of the apparent justice of a specific resolution.

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