Thought for the Week
During the contentious–and by some, still contended–national election my country just came through, I was repeatedly prodded to “take a stand!” i.e. to swing either far to the left far to the right. But I did take a stand — in the middle. Why? Because I’ve learned that when people veer far to the left or far to the right, they end up in the gutter–a place of stagnation and decay. And that’s not where I want my country, or myself, to end up.
So, what’s the alternative? It’s reaching out and connecting with the people on the opposite side of the road. It even has a name: compromise.* Yes, I know it sounds wishy-washy. But it’s not. In fact…
Compromise is the heart of democracy. Rule by those who’ve managed to gain temporary control is not democracy, it’s arithmocracy. In such a system, those who’ve “won” rule, and the others have no real say. But then the others invariably rise up and wrench back control, producing a constant lurching from one extreme to other, resulting in what I call gutterocracy — stagnation and decay.
That’s not what I want. You? And, no, I’m not wishy-washy, thank you very much! There are, in fact, some issues I care very deeply about. In fact, I think I’m a rather radical moderate! And if you don’t like that, well…(deep breath)…
Let’s meet in the middle and talk about it.
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*Note: I am referring to the Oxford Dictionary’s primary definition of the verb compromise, meaning to “settle a dispute by mutual concession,” not the secondary usage of “to give in” or “lower one’s standards.”