Friday, July 29, 2011


I listened to a story from NPR today on what the word compromise actually means and it included this great quote from On Compromise and Rotten Compromises by Israeli philosopher Avishai Margalit: 
But even so, the choices we make say something about our character. In fact, Margalit suggests that we really should be judged by our compromises more than by our ideals. As he puts it: "Ideals may tell us something important about what we would like to be. But compromises tell us who we are."
This really resonated with me. It has been bouncing around in my head since I heard it. So often a person is praised for being uncompromising, and there are times and places where that is called for, but I think compromising is praise-worthy too. 

I tend to see compromise as a weakness, as giving in, but compromise is what gets things done politically, in a marriage, amongst friends, in the workplace. I want to celebrate it more and not see it as such a negative. Life is not black and white, we live in the gray, and we all need to bend a little bit for each other. 

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