Saturday, January 22, 2011

Compromise is always a good thing....... isn't it?


Momma always used to tell the kids: "You will have to compromise and share", like it was just the right thing to do. 'Good relationships are all about compromise' (manly shudder).

Well.... maybe in some cases, and certainly not in others. The cases where it's a good activity are manifest and well noted by every feel good counselor in the world.

These words are not about when we should compromise, but when we should not.

Some people look to a compromise as the way to settle everything. Especially politicians, as in the sickening words: 'Bi-partisan compromise'. Perhaps that's fine in some cases, but a slavish devotion to the almighty idea of meeting in the middle is a poor way to run a government. It's an especially poor way to run a life.

An example to illustrate the point is in order. Find a compromise in this case: Your goal is to live your life in peace without injury. The goal of the deranged drug addict who just broke into your home is to kill you. Ok? Got the terms? Ready..... Set...... Compromise!

What.... you think living your life in peace is a perfectly valid goal and you aren't willing to be maimed, let alone murdered, in the name of compromise? How about just beaten senseless and left for dead? Kicked in head a few times? No?

My, how counter social an attitude!

This extreme case does illustrate the idea that not every situation can be solved by splitting the pot. Sometimes compromise is wrong. It's generally in these cases where you'll find 'principles' coming into play.

Principles are tricky things. One key point about principles is they usually won't survive a compromise. Once even a bit of a principle is given away in the bargain, it's all gone. All that's left is a convenient attitude, but never a principle.

Give this idea some thought.....

What are you willing to compromise on? What is beyond compromise for you?

Understanding that bargaining with principles means losing them, apply that concept to some basic questions in life, such as:
  • Who is entitled to your possessions?
  • Who is entitled to the fruits of your labor?
  • Who is responsible for your safety?
  • Who is responsible for your happiness?
  • What are you willing to give up for the above?
Don't let this keep you up at night................

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