Donald Miller meticulously accounts for four elements constituting a meaningful life in the article “How to Tell a Good Story with your Life or The four Critical Elements of a Meaningful Life.” The four elements are significant in the flow of a story regarding a person’s life namely; character, purpose (what a character wants), conflict and resolution. Miller depicts that the four work best in developing an informative story with all the required parts integrated. He believes that putting the four elements together make up “a living story” more so in captivating the minds of readers or audience. For instance, he notes, “A good storyteller doesn’t just tell a better story, though. He invites other people into the story with him, giving them a better story too.”Of the four elements, he most striking one is conflict. Conflict is quintessential in shaping up the life of any person. In fact, a conflict is a gateway for one to realize and recognize his true identity in relation to abilities, capacity and independence. Therefore, this paper is an essay focusing on conflict as an element in creating a better life as illustrated by Donald Miller.
Conflict is unveiled as a necessity in life. A life story without a conflict is neither notable nor worth remembrance. Miller illustrates that the American society embrace a culture that eludes conflicts but that norm can be so detrimental to people. Conflicts fills life with beauty in that it creates a pathway through which one’s values can flow. For instance, a person can only claim that he or she is stronger after passing through a situation that challenges the strength. As the old adage goes, “amidst all blind men, one eyed man is a king.” This implies that life without a challenge in form of a conflict is deceptive owing to the fact that there is no test. Besides, beauty in life is enjoyable after surppasing a conflict. This is because there is always a reward after a test just the same way a soldier is rewarded after a war well fought. Enjoyment of a reward is characterized by immense beauty thus bring home the point that conflicts fill life with profound beauty. In addition, the beauty of a story develops from how well a character triumphs over the conflicts in his or her way. Therefore, it is indisputable fact that conflicts fills life with beauty by unveiling strength, reward and important experiences in life.
Miller depicts that conflicts gives value to that which individuals try to attain in life over a period of time. For instance, a couple who have gone through a conflicts for their love to prevail and triumphed amidst all the obstacles along the way would live to value each other more than couples who never had any conflict to surpass. Undeniably, great love stories even in movies are told with conflicts at the epicenter. For example, a story of a prince falling in love with daughter of a blacksmith is of great value when the duo are able to overcome all the rejection based on superficial differences such as social class, financial ability, race, color and stereotypes. The two lovers are due to value each other and know the worth of having one another since there were possibilities of the love not prevailing because of other people in the scene. Without a conflict, it is possible to take something for granted because of not going through any test to get it or to keep it. A treasure is treasured because to find it, one has to go through thick and thin, fight competitors and trace the right way to have it. For a team, a trophy is of great value when they had to outdo many teams to emerge the winner and will live the memories for a life time. In summary, something becomes of great value to an individual if the process of getting or attaining it is full of conflicts. Consequently, it is very difficult for a person to lose something that costed him or her a great deal.
A conflict lays foundation for telling a better story in life. It is ineluctable fact that every person in life has a story based on an event that transpired at one moment in his or her life. This well illustrated from a quotation from Miller. He said, “Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master storyteller.”In every story told, traits of a character are shaped through the conflicts he or she tackles. For instance, it is only possible to tell that a character is courageous and bold is he is able to face gigantic men and subdue them without getting intimidated or fearing for his life. In a different scenario, the real test of how much a person loves something or someone is shown by how much a person is ready to sacrifice, odds he is ready to defy, rivers he is ready to cross and battles he is ready to fight just to have it or the person. Therefore, a conflict makes a story more captivating, memorable and entertaining hence must be part of a story.
In conclusion, this paper delineates conflicts as a key element in making life better based on Donald Miller’s accounts and points of view. Its has come to light that a conflict is a necessity in life, adds value to that which a person wishes to get or attain and forms a basic components of a life story.