I’m reading a book with Carter. It’s an adventure story, because he’s ten and if he’s going to sit and listen to me read to him, he wants there to be lots of action and danger. So I’m reading The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan right now. And he’s loving it.

It is full of characters facing conflict. Things happen to them. Crazy things, and they have to deal. The heroes, who don’t actually realize they are heroes, are caught off guard. They are challenged and they are uncertain, but they keep fighting.

And I’m reminded, again, that every good story has conflict. Conflict is the thing that makes the story. It is the thing that causes character growth. It is what makes me care.

I guess that is why it makes me so sad when conflict tears people apart rather than bringing them together. There is nothing more tragic, I think, than to witness people turning on each other.

Conflict happens. It is inevitable. I can hate it. I can fight it. I can avoid it, ignore it, distract myself from it.  Or, I can go through it, tough as it might be, because sometimes the best way through the valley is through the valley.

The valley holds the best stories.

One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.

G.K. Chesterton