I’ve been thinking a lot about compromise lately. I’ve been reading new blogs from people who read mine. It’s a nice way of exposing yourself to different ideas and opening your world up a bit. Blogging can be a blatant excuse for editorializing. How entertaining or compelling you are depends on who follows you. Really? Hmmmm, only if you can compromise.
I believe our government and the American culture is losing the ability to COMPROMISE. The definition of compromise: A settlement of differences by mututal concession in which a party gives up part of their demands, or, agreement through communication, or, between or blending qualities of two different things. How about agreeing to disagree? The very problem exists because there are so many different meanings to the same word. You can also use compromise as a negative, if for example, you compromise your beliefs or integrity. It’s an oxymoron. Love those.
There are so many issues today that have divided our country and I think make us weaker as a democracy. Not because we have the freedom to disagree but because we have become embattled with defending it. We don’t want to look at any side but our own. If we do we might be giving up ground. We become entrenched in convincing anyone who will listen that we are right. Our two party political system is a classic example. A civil war of ideaologies. Kids on the playground learn very quickly that one has to take turns and share. Where do we lose this ability when it comes to politics? We have Fox and MSNBC, authors, and talk shows getting rich while vying for opposing positions that feed the fires of our discontent. Enough already!! When does the compromise start? Do we even learn that anymore?
Synonyms of compromise are: accommodation, accord, adjustment, arrangement, bargain, contract, covenant, deal, happy medium, settlement and my personal favorite, fifty-fifty. Everyone knows that is only possible in math, just ask any couple in a successful marriage. It seems to me the secret to compromise is the WILLINGNESS to. It shouts respect louder than any other message can. Agreeing to disagree has probably saved more relationships than the word NO has but it’s hard to pass legislation with this technique.
We don’t engage or listen attentively to those who have a message we don’t agree with, we don’t try to see it from their perspective or to imagine what it must feel like for them to feel as strongly as they do and not be represented. It appears that compromise has a very large auditory component. Faith, religion, spirituality, believes that God (or whatever your belief in a higher power might be) is all powerful and knowing. Why do we feel that he/she can’t succeed without our actions, interpretations and opinions? We surround ourselves with the like-minded within our segregated churches and schools out of fear that our God will be diluted or corrupted. God hasn’t personally wiped anybody out recently (that I know of) for being different but people sure have, and they are willing to fight to the bitter end. How does God work in that? What is diversity? Is it the color of our skin? Our religious and cultural beliefs? Or is it something simpler? I think God must have a great sense of humor. I imagine him visiting and then telling us we are doing it all wrong. He wants all religions and governments, to share the SAME space and church, no exceptions. Now there is a visual on compromise.
The bottom line is no one gets everything they want. Let me repeat, NOBODY gets everything they want! So why are we fighting so hard?