Compromise seems to have gone the way of the dodo bird. As we revel in the silly-season of elections there seem to be few candidates, (or voters for that matter) who seem willing to hear what the other side is saying. Good ideas have no political party, no gender. As we sink deeper into the idea of “My way or the highway” we lose the ability to move forward together.
When did it happen?
When did it happen that our country fell into the pit of believing there is only one way to do anything? When did we decide that a liberal idea is wrong because it is liberal, or a conservative idea is wrong because it is conservative? We seem to believe that if we don’t get our way it is wrong. The art of compromise is the most powerful position we can take simply because a free-flow of ideas makes us stronger as a people.
Rather than finding a middle ground, we sue each other, go to court and spend huge amounts of energy which frequently results in both sides losing. The old truism that the only ones who benefit are the lawyers is more evident than ever.
The end result
The end result of refusing to listen is a belief in “Us or Them.” We demonize people who are not in lock step with us. We create a fear that if “They” get what they want, we lose. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the framers of the Constitution met many wanted to create a Monarchy. Heated discussion followed, to be sure, but in the end each side listened to the other to create a system of balance far beyond what the world had ever known previously.
Let’s step back from the precipice and begin listening to each other again.