Compromise:  asettlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions b: something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things (From my favorite resource, the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, but you knew that right?).

Compromise is NOT a bad word.  Compromise is NOT a bad thing.

This is something I'm trying to teach my son AND myself.  I do so with varying success.  And when I don't succeed I try to use the experience as a teachable moment.

Example:  My son has been sick, but he wanted to go to church with me one Sunday.  He insisted on dressing for it, which means a shirt, tie and jacket.  That's usually fine, but it was hot on Sunday and he was getting over strep.  I suggested a more casual look (nice slacks and collared shirt), but he would not compromise.  As a result, right after the first hymn, he turned to me and said, "Mom I don't feel very good."  I had him out of there in a flash, got him to take off his jacket and had the windows rolled down during the drive home.  When he got home, I had him undress, lie down and drink some water.  He felt better.  And I used the moment to remind him that if he had compromised (even by just wearing a short sleeve shirt under the jacket) things might have been different.  (I don't think he learned the lesson right away though.  He pointed out that the week before had been just as hot and he had worn a heavier suit jacket with no ill effects.  I had to remind him that he wasn't sick and on antibiotics at the time.)  I'm not discouraging my son from dressing in a way that he likes and feels comfortable, but this was a time when compromise was necessary.  The next time we went to church, he DID take the weather into consideration and wore a tie with a short sleeve shirt.  (Looking just as handsome as always!)

But compromise is more than just me talking to my son.  When two people, parties or groups come to a compromise, they have opened a dialog.  In order to come to a compromise they need to LISTEN with respect to one another.  It doesn't mean AGREEING with everything, but listening and finding common ground. As human beings, we need to find common ground; we need to realize that we have more in common than we have differences. Let me "say" that again:  We ARE Human beings.  We are all made of the same building blocks of life.  We have far more in common than we have differences.  (TRULY!)

Compromise is NOT about losing or winning.  Compromise is about coming together.  It's about working together and coming up with solutions. Compromise is about finding our humanity and sharing it.  

Without compromise there would be no United States of America; no Declaration of Independence.  Our forefathers had to compromise in order that our nation might be birthed.

Compromise.  Try it.  Do it.  And find peace within yourself and others.


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