There’s a scene from some movie that just popped itself into my mind. There’s an angry man spouting off about something, and another man says to him, “Ah, does someone need a hug?” Anger isn’t exactly an emotion; rather it attempts to cover an emotion. And a hug from “Mom” can go a long way to rid one of anger, expose the underlying emotion, and sooth it. Unless, that is, that a person has a problem with Mom. Dr. Sigmund Freud was hung up on “Mom” and sex, and peoples Oedipus-like desires to have sex with their moms and kill there fathers. He thought that while we were still babies our fantasies centered around having Mom all to our selves and not letting Dad near her. It didn’t work too well, and some people never got over it all. They grow up to find other ways to get even with their moms and dads.
So with 300 million people living in America and a social media that puts everyone in everyone else’s face all the time, feathers are going to be ruffled as we play out our Oedipus fantasies on each other. People have their underlying emotions stirred, that then surge, and the result is that angry words spew forth. People discover there are other people that feel the same way, and they gather together to protest someone they feel has offended them. Lately it’s been presidential candidates who’ve modeled the use of verbal assault weapons, and become the object of protests. Conflict. And the television/internet media gets to watch, film, and report all of it to an eager audience, perpetuating the cycle of conflict.
Why can’t people just get along? Why isn’t there peace on Earth?
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. [Jesus said]
— Matthew 10:34
Why? Why does it seem there needs to be conflict? In a writing class, I was once instructed on the use of conflict and resolution. In a story the author allows conflict to drive the story along. building a certain tension. At some point the author must allow the reader to feel resolution, too. There must be some form of resolution after conflict has built or the reader will feel let down.
Just as conflict drive an author’s story, so does it drive our lives. But conflict is only useful if we are able to find a resolution to the conflict. A solution. An answer. Conflict drives us to look for answers.
On the back of a Jeep was a bumper sticker that summed this issue up well. It read:
Jesus is the Answer. Now, What was the Question?