If you want to avoid conflict, avoid integrity. The act of acting with truth will inherently lead you toward conflict. By standing for an idea you make that idea less malleable, less willing to bend or hide. The more proudly that idea stands the harder it is to squish it past others that do not comfortably co-exist in its space.
We spend much of our time valuing peace over conflict. We chop the heads off our ideas, or withdraw from them and allow them to become soft, to avoid the feelings that occur when the structure of one idea glances or collides with another. When two ideas of great integrity meet one another there can be incredible force, and we are often so unpracticed with managing these forces that they can be quite destructive.
To truly live in a world of integrity we must become comfortable with conflict. Yet we must also become comfortable with separating our egos from our ideas. Great people have great conflicts. They also practice great acts of thoughtfulness and compassion, consideration, wisdom, and curiosity. Conflict does not have to be like a war game, it is best when it’s more like Tetris. How can we honour our integrity and find a way that these two ideas can complement one another? Perhaps we can find an even better idea whose strengths outmatch this conflict.
Through conflict we challenge ourselves to create even greater outcomes. Provided we can act with the maturity and work in that conflict.
Conflict without war takes practice but peace without integrity is a tenuous peace indeed.