By | December 15, 2010

Now that’s a heavy word. A scary one, some will say. It sure sends chills down many spines. It is scary because it has two sides to it: you give some, you get some. One is darker than the other. The “give some”. Or at least that’s what it looks like until we get close enough to see that the “get some” part has a certain undisputable brightness to it, which counterbalances the grey shadows of the first. A certain lightness, some would say. What holds the two in balance is worthiness. The certitude that both give and get are worth it.

I used to be a very unassertive person. A quiet one. Never asking for much, never willing or courageous enough to create any ripples that might upset people around me because of my asking for things. I knew about compromise and while I always looked at it as a necessary thing, I never looked closely at the two sides of it nor questioned whether they are in balance. That is until my boys were born. I stepped out of quietness to defend my boys when I needed to do so, to show them their own worth and teach them about compromises and how they are part of real life. You lose some, but you gain some as well…

Life is about compromise. Because life is real. Utopia-like scenarios are not sustainable even though they make for some sparkling short-term daydreaming. But life as we know it is real. The unmatched brightness of blue skies in the summer is fascinating as it is real, but so is the muddy froth left on the side of the road by a storm. From the simplest things we settle for in our day to day relationships with neighbours, acquaintances and friends, to the more complicated, emotionally and otherwise, matters involving our loved ones, compromise describes nothing but real life. Tempted to say that magic lies in not looking or considering the “give some” part, but only the “get some”? That magic lies in doing all we can to fulfill our personal dreams and hopes? I’d say hardly. Magic is not about perfection but about discovering that one can see perfection in imperfect things, people and situations. Perfection not as an absolute attribute of life but as in having out true needs met. That’s where perfection and compromise stumble upon each other to create the belief that is as scary as it is exhilarating and that is simply “I would not have it any other way”. Yes, you can say that perfection and compromise are in the eye of the beholder.

You might or might not agree but here’s what I’ve learned so far about compromise: Strength lies not in what we hold onto or in the stubbornness we show while doing so, but in what we are willing to give for something we believe worthy. Compromise is not a sentence but a choice. And knowing that is perhaps the one thing that can make compromise either lie heavily on resentful shoulders or create the peace of mind that opens hearts and puts the wind in one’s sails. That I might learn more along the way about compromise and real life, about beliefs and their worthiness, I do not doubt for a second. What I do know though is that while compromise is a way of showing what the “give some” part is all about, it is, at the same time, another way of remembering one’s self worth when the “get some” part is considered. You lose some yet you gain some as well… It makes for fair trades. With a side note that fairness is the eye of the beholder…

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