“We cannot change anything until we can accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” Carl Jung
How often are you able to accept something you do not like, but which you cannot change? Do you cling to your opinion regardless of its reality? How often are you able to see things from another’s point of view?
Some would say that compromise in any form is a bad thing – like some members of the U. S. Congress. No matter what the consequences for the people who elected them or the world economy, they only care about being right. Needing to be right all the time is a very oppressive way to live.
Compromise Is the Basis of A Democratic Society
In a compromise, we all may get something we want, but we also accept that we may have to give up something. It signals a willingness to keep life moving forward, to accomplish at least part of what we hoped to accomplish rather than accept a stalemate. Compromise is the basis of working together to serve the common good. As a humane and democratic society, I believe that serving the common good needs to be our objective because it contains an important spiritual aspect.
We Are All One
If we believe that we are all One, what we all need is important, and we must be conscious of the way that our actions affect others. The energy we put out draws to us the people and situations that resonate with that energy, so if we are stuck on being right, we will draw to us others who believe they are right. When these two groups believe they are right but are in opposition, we have a problem.
We can have a firm belief about an issue and be true to it in our hearts without forcing it on others. For example, I’m firmly committed to eating a healthy, organic diet, primarily to avoid the diabetes that runs in my family. This means that I don’t eat fast food or eat excessive amounts of fat or sugar.
Compromise Suggests A Sense of Fairness
There have been times when I’ve had friends who didn’t take good care of their health and who wanted to eat at restaurants where the food wasn’t healthy. Sometimes they resented my healthier choices, but when they were willing to accommodate my needs, I tried to give them the choice to choose the movie we went to see or the event we would attend. I tried to find a compromise that would please us both.
The reality is that when we choose a healthy or spiritual path, we will find people who resent the peace and health we have found. We choose not to deviate from our path because the consequences can be harmful and we simply have to accept others’ condemnation. If the compromise we make cannot offer something good for each side, it won’t be a positive compromise.
The current situation in Washington, D. C. is a perfect example. Combining very different issues in the same bill makes no sense, and I’d love to see a law passed forbidding these kinds of bills. Having one topic in one bill would simplify the process and make compromise more likely, and it would make it more difficult to hold the opposition hostage.
The Challenge of Compromise in Relationships
But how often do we do this in our personal lives. I was once in a relationship with a man who invited a woman he said he didn’t know well to live with him indefinitely until she could find a job and a place to live. I was very uncomfortable with this. He was lying to me about how well he knew her, but I didn’t know that until later. I didn’t think his choice was appropriate, but he made it clear that he had promised to do this for her and it was a matter of principle to keep his word.
I pointed out that his situation had changed since he had made her that promise and being in a relationship meant he needed to make a different choice. I suggested he limit the time she could stay or find someone else she could stay with. He refused any compromise I suggested. He was just as adamant about this as the people in Washington who would prefer to ruin lives rather than find a compromise. In the end, my partner’s inability to compromise in many situations destroyed the relationship.
Open Ourselves to What Is Beneficial
In order to be willing to make changes when we are challenged with difficult situations, we must be able to see the other point of view and accept it for what it is. Hopefully we can find some good in it so that we can find the points where we can agree and preserve our relationships for the good of all. Letting go of the ego and looking at the situation from the heart will often bring us in alignment with that sense of Oneness, and that sense can help us let go of what is not really important and liberates us from what is not beneficial.
It is disheartening to see the condemnation that is occurring in the U.S. Congress and the way that greed and politics have infected the people we elected. But sometimes we have to see the worst before we are willing to change our ways. Let’s hope this is the worst we ever see, and that somehow our leaders finally remember they were not elected to be right; they were elected to serve all the people. Keeping our egos in check tends to lead us to better choices.
How do you feel about making compromises?
© 2013 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5