Saturday, 14 March 2009

Art of Compromise

As BALANCE is my WORD for the year, here are a few more thoughts on the subject.

According to Aristotle, moral behaviour requires finding the right balance between the extremes of doing or feeling too much or too little. Courage, for instance, is a balance between cowardice (too much fear) and foolhardiness (too little fear). The superior man cultivates a friendly atmosphere, without being weak. He stands erect in the middle, without inclining to either side.

In practice, this means that when we find ourselves in an argument with someone, we should try to look at the problem from their point of view as well as our own. It doesn’t mean that we should weakly submit to their argument, but neither does it mean that we should try to force our argument upon them.

Unfortunately in today’s society, taking a stand or going to extremes is often glorified, while “sitting on the fence” or making compromises often have negative connotations attached to them, as if they somehow imply a weakness in character.

From our leaders we hear statements such as “you’re either with us or against us”. The problem with this sort of extreme statement is that rather than bringing people closer together, it pushes them further apart. I wonder how many of the conflicts in the world today could have been averted if our leaders better understood the art of compromise.


In December 2006 while visiting Kenya, Jessen and I crossed the equator. We went back and forth several times just for the fun of it and then balanced in the middle.

12 comments:

Butler and Bagman said...

Good blog...excellent header photo!!

Ron said...

I agree

I do believe there are personal beliefs and convictions which we must not compromise for ourselves, but must also recognize and accept that others may not share that view .. the balance is when we allow them that same right ..

I wrote a poem some 12 years ago about prejudice .. the preface to the poem was a self written definition .. "Prejudice is the right of pride without the recognition of another's right to be equally proud."

Balance comes when I steadfastly believe the ball is red but recognize your right to believe the ball is blue.

Loving Annie said...

Intelligent compromise and negotiation are always better than wars, be they between nations or between individuals.

Fly Girl said...

More people need to read your post! Wonderfully worded and a topic worth pondering. I do tend to look at both sides of an argument, too much sometimes! I think I can be aggravating in that way... :-)

Roban

TheChicGeek said...

What a great post. I agree with you 100 percent. I always try to listen to both sides and find middle ground. Everything in life isn't always black or white :)
Have a Beautiful Day!

thezeninyou said...

I always said that the secret to my marriage is a husband that travels and compromise...compromise...compromise!
Great post Peggy!

Lance said...

Hi Peggy,

Well said. Truly understanding both sides of any "issue" will really help to work toward the best solution. And I love the picture and caption of crossing back and forth over the equator! How neat!!

Lilly said...

Great post Peggy. The art of compromise. Leaders have this win at all costs attitude. Why else would a lot of the world be living hand to mouth and in poverty. Or in war.

I have missed your music took a blogging break for about a week. You alwys put so much effort into slecting songs for your post. The attention to detail says a lot about you.

Shannanigans said...

Gotta love balance. I also like the thought of trying to see things from someone elses perspective. A very hard thing to do but it does make a huge difference.

miruspeg said...

Mark, Ron, Annie, Roban, Chic Geek, Caroline, Lance, Lilly and Shannanigans.....

You wonderful people, I know you all have the flexibility, the willingness to adapt and compromise where necessary.

Peggy

McMGrad89 said...

I have always tried to see all sides of the story (except when i was personally affected LOL) Just kidding. My mother called me the great defender and said that I would take whatever side she wasn't on. She just didn't know that I always tried to understand a person's point of view without necessarily accepting it. That always bugged her about me. I guess it still does. ;-)

miruspeg said...

Annemarie - Mothers and daughters are not always on the same path, but I guess being the way you are, you are able to see her point of view even if you don't always agree with it.