The power of sacrifice should never be underestimated. Where have the capacity to give up a possession or what is valuable to us for the sake of other’s considerations, tensions and conflict can usually be resolved. As a naïve and confused teenager, I left the country and all that I had ever known. The idyllic setting of Surrey Hills, where the autumn leaves created a dusty orange wave on the concrete pavement was replaced by a bluestone cottage in a small Belgian town. It was on this French exchange trip where I learned life’s most valuable lessons about conflict and the sacrifices we must make to achieve the greater good and overcome challenges that we face. It wasn’t until I sacrificed my security in entrusting strangers and crushed the barrier of cultural values and etiquette, that I was able to fully integrate into my exchange family and their way of life, and thus overcome the conflict that I was catapulted with. Firstly, conflict is a natural occurrence in human nature and the world that surrounds us.
Self-actualization and self-esteem are considered the most rewarding aspects of human achievement. However, a world without conflict is stagnant and unprogressive. Healthy skeptism and the opposing views of one or more people provide us with the basis for progress and to develop as humans. Develop idea Sacrificing what we consider to be important to us, including our moral dignity and wills, is often a necessary step in resolving conflict. Resolving conflict is often dependent on sacrificing not only tangible goods or in some cases lives, it frequently involves going against one’s wills to ultimately come to a balanced agreement with another party. Global conflicts such as war require combatants to make several sacrifices. Firstly, it involves sacrificing one’s unwillingness to kill.
A personal account from Australian Solider, Private Cecil Anthony McAnulty, reveals the self-sacrifices of war in the Australian offensive of 1915; “This is only suicide, boys…. “I’m going to make a jump for it.” Cecil’s expenses, as well as that of many others demonstrate the opposition to one’s wills, often involving their own lives that are associated with the loyalty to one’s country during times of conflict. It is clear that it takes great courage and mental strength to make the decision to kill another human. Fowler too, is forced to make sacrifices when faced with the predicament of inaction. To be ‘engage’ or ‘degage’ both in relationships and in politics remain the core of Fowler’s dilemmas.
Both journalists have the desire to achieve the ‘common good’ however; Mr Heng also reflects that in any conflict “one has to take sides. If one is to remain human.” Hence, abandoning one’s moral values and consideration of what is morally right, is often required in order to make progress. Similarly, Pyle’s covert intervention on behalf of his government results in the slaughter of Vietnamese civilians. The American is convinced that democracy will ‘save’ Vietnam, but he views the conflict merely through the prism of his own ideological prejudices. Thus, if he and many other Americans had allowed themselves to alter these ideologies, the destructive course in Vietnam may not have been so severe. Thus, making decisions in any situation will involve a missed opportunity or expense. Yet, we must also consider to what extent we risk or sense of moral values during conflict. Good paragraph!!
Conflict is often cyclical – to ultimately resolve conflict, we need implement long-term measures and adhere to these obligations. What is clear from encountering conflict, is that entities most likely to lapse into negatively fuelled encounters are those that have been there before. Every post-conflict environment contains the potential seeds for another outburst. The worst horrors in global conflict have usually stemmed from inadequate arrangements for peace building in a previous encounter. The Arusha Peace Agreement in August 1993 is an example of an inappropriate agreement — based on the inconceivability of ceasefire and power sharing arrangements between the Hutus and Tutsis. It was clear that these groups relied on their armies as the instrument of power, and the stark ethnic differences served as an obstacle to the idea of integration.
By July 1994 genocide had erupted, constituting as much as 20% of the country’s total population and 70% of the Tutsi’s then living in Rwanda. Thus, it is clear that conflict has is cyclical in nature. A peaceful conclusion is not always possible but often requires a sacrifice beyond a temporary or face value measure. For Fowler, the implications of cyclical conflict are clear. He has the choice of condoning the probable murder of Pyle or infliction further killings of civilians through his Pyle’s Third Force.’ Moral dignity is often on the line when we make such sacrifices. Whilst we can sympathise for Fowler, his decision was justified given that saving that lives of thousand of civilians outweighs the loss of one. Likewise, the historical wrongs involved in the colonisation of Australia are an example of conflict continuing to haunt the nation today. Indigenous people are subjected to racism in society and are far more likely to be a victim of domestic violence or drug abuse.
Undeniably, Kevin Rudd’s apology speech in February 2008 was not able alter the impacts of the government’s policies that inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on fellow Australians. Nonetheless, the apology speech was able to “remove a great stain from the nation’s soul and in the true spirit of reconciliation to open a new chapter in the history of this great land Australia.” Thus, cyclical conflict cannot be dismissed with transient measures. It is only through conflict and making sacrifices that we are able to reconsider what is valuable to us and make progress as individuals. Good TP Whilst conflict involves making noteworthy sacrifices and can often have tragic results, it can also be a catalyst for personal growth and worthwhile social and political change. Often, the results outweigh the implications that the conflict caused and even lead to a greater understanding of what we value as a society.
The 1960’s civil rights movement in America can be seen as a necessary social conflict without which, racial injustice would have continued. Rosa Park’s refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955 sparked intense protests by blacks and concerned whites. However, what is clear is that sometimes defying laws and taking risks is necessary in standing up to racial equality. Similarly, Martin Luther King’s legacy demonstrates that through times of conflict, a sacrifice of laws and risk is necessary to stand against racial inequality. Whilst white extremist groups such as the Klu Klux Klan, embarked upon a campaign against black Americans and their white supporters, the dedication of leaders such as Martin Luther King demonstrate the reconsideration of achieving the greater good for American society and integration for all blacks.
What is clear from reading The Quiet American and researching The Vietnam War, is that the result of the conflict had wide-reaching effects on both the communities of Vietnam and global response. With the illicit killings of thousands of innocent civilians in the name of communism containment, the public’s reaction was far from approving. After the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, the nation was able to reassess what should be the motivation behind involving in conflict. That is – not an intervention into a war that is not ‘ours’ nor the suffering and grief of the innocent civilizations as a result of this intervention.
Thus, through conflict and the tensions that it encounters, it is possibly for a nation to reaffirm what is morally and ethically right and thus make progress as a diplomatic wester society. Conclusion needs a greater impact: During times of conflict a sacrifice is often required to achieve a resolution. Whether that is our moral dignity, wills, values or cultural identities, this risk is needed also to reduce the risk of counter-conflict. However, what is clear is that the resolution of war, tensions and injustice can outweigh the impacts of the conflict. Through this, we are able to reconsider what is valuable and progress as humans and nations.
My piece is a predominantly expository essay and includes a small extract of personal reflection. This structure allowed me to employ to conventions of a traditional essay whilst the reflection serves as an introduction to what I perceive to be the implications of conflict. Cumulatively, the sophisticated tone and reasoned arguments serve as my base. I have chosen formal language so to ensure my arguments sound reasoned and sophisticated. Additionally, the descriptive and poetic language in my introduction serves as a personal touch to engage readers. My piece would be best suited the VCE cohort who have read the text The Quiet American by Graham Greene and have an informed knowledge of the Vietnam War and other mentions events as they are most likely have a greater understanding of the depth of thought and relevance of examples.
Its main purpose is to reflect on the various aspects of encountering conflict and its significance in the world around us. Firstly, I concede that conflict is natural and that it enables us to progress as humans and society. Then I iterate the various forms of sacrifice necessary during the reconciliation process of conflict whilst also acknowledging that conflict has a cyclical nature and thus we need to sacrifice something greater in order to prevent future conflict. Furthermore, I explain the implications of sacrifice and conflict and demonstrate its ability to create positive outcomes that allow for growth and a reconsideration of what is important in life. Finally, the essay, which is based around why ‘sacrifice is often necessary to resolve conflict’, is relevant to many as undeniably, we all face various forms of conflict at some point in our lives. It is also necessary that we manage conflict effectively and remain in touch with our own beliefs and values.
Courtney from Study Moose
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