Having a personal value system is how individuals make decisions on what to do and what not to do. From a very young age we’re taught to be uncompromising when it comes to your core values. I could not agree more with that concept. At the same time there’s a big difference between being uncompromising yet having the ability to compromise on individual issues in order to reach an acceptable solution to a problem or situation. It seems to me that there are more people than ever before that have difficult in understanding the difference.
A few things that I am uncompromising about:
- Being a good husband, father and uncle
- Being on time
- Avoiding any physical violence at all costs
Yes there are more but let’s take those three as simple examples. The more complicated ones are just that.
Being a good husband, father, and uncle:
While I am uncompromising when it comes to my overall sense of what I need to do to achieve the above, there are compromises I make all the time in order to keep my family life on track.
Sometimes (ok probably more that that) I have had to work late and in doing so I did not make a family dinner or event, or a dinner with my wife or children. One could interpret being uncompromising in this area to mean that you’d NEVER miss a family meal or event on the way to being that good husband, father or uncle. Impractical as it may seem there are people that can only see things in black and white.
Being on time
This is truly important to me. And I’m good about it more than 95% of the time. But sometimes, unexpected things happen and I’m late for one reason or another. If the option is to drive at 90 miles an hour to try to deliver on my uncompromising ideal, the outcome could be that my life is compromised! So I don’t do it. My ideal remains uncompromised but sometimes the result has to be a compromise.
Avoiding physical violence at all costs
This does not mean I will not fight. But I will spare no effort to try to solve a problem or situation without violence. A friend of mine who’s a black belt in Tae-Kwan-Do told me once that he was taught that if you are in a fight you’ve already lost to a degree, but if you find that you are in a fight –fight to win. Fortunately I’ve had little occasion to have that play out in my life. Again I am uncompromising in my ideal but acknowledge that there could be a situation that my ideal has to be set aside out of necessity.
It’s impossible to discuss compromise without making a political reference. In the United States the political climate has been incredibly polarized for the past seven plus years (and longer than that really). The idea of compromise appears to have become a four-letter word to so many politicians. For that matter changing one’s mind is somehow an anathema even after receiving and assimilating additional information that offers a path to a more informed decision.
I want me to be, my friends and family to be, and our leaders to be…uncompromising in their ideals and beliefs. However, I also think it’s critical that all have the ability to understand that a compromise to achieve a mutual agreement is not a bad thing, and in fact it’s the way that things actually get done. I don’t expect anyone and everyone to agree with me on any given subject, particularly a sensitive one. What I hope for is that parties on opposite side of an issue can acknowledge there are different points of view so that there’s the possibility of reaching some sort of agreement. It’s called compromise and without that getting things done become nearly impossible.
Do you agree there’s a difference?