FFT: We should compromise compromising
Saturday, March 02, 2013


"Give and take.
You win some, you lose some."

We hear that rather often. We have been taught, or at least I have been taught to learn to compromise when you face another person with a different opinion. That somehow I have to find a way to make both parties happy. Of course, we all know that it's just a fantasy.


"Compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another - too often ending in the loss of both."
- Tryon Edwards

There are a ton of quotes on compromising over here and here. It goes without saying that I do not agree with all of them, but some struck me as interesting.

I do not believe in the idea of compromising. For a very simple reason.


"make a plan and you will find,
that she has something else in mind,
and so rather than do either you do something else
that neither likes at all"

- My Fair Lady


That's the problem with compromise. It is what happens when neither party is unwilling to take a step back and "lose". They instead choose something that allows neither to win. That's completely idiotic, but understandable.

Humans are selfish, self-centered egoists. Most of the times, I am disgusted by the idea of losing for the sake of someone else to win. Even so, I believe that there's always a time when you should step back and be the bigger, and better man. Not everything has to go your way. The problem with give and take is that we don't give in completely, just in a weird, half-assed way.

That is why I advocate compromising compromising. There's no way to make everyone happy, you can only make everyone less unhappy. It's a balancing act of someone's fortune, and another's misfortune.

It's pretty straight forward and commonsense up to this point. So why compromise when it is such a bad thing?

Because it's a necessary evil.

eg. Country A has an abundance of oil. It only wants to provide for it's own country, and monopolize the market on every other country based on it. However, it is forced to compromise and sign a pact saying that it would sell to other countries on a globally agreed price point. Why? Because Country B,C,D,F... will wage war on A if they don't do it.

It's a compromise because everyone is still buying from A. But A cannot set a ridiculously high price. In this case, everyone is happy, but not as happy as they theoretically be.

Which is why compromising is a necessary evil. If we don't, everyone will probably die. Imagine this moronic but very plausible situation.

Person A is walking on the same path towards B.
Person B is walking on the same path towards A.
If neither of them is willing to shift their walking line, they would bang, right?
And then they would fight, and kill each other.
(yep, true story)

So the moral of the story is,

We compromise because it's easier for everyone else to kill you, then for you to kill everyone else.

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