Food for Thought: Compromise is Key to Politics and Life–What Hill(s) Should You Die On?

Compromise is at the heart of the democratic process. So, when do you compromise? Some will say that compromise is caving in, and so one should never do it. Others will say that it is meeting in the middle, and that it needs to be one’s aim for the sake of the common good of all. If it is the latter, when does a politician compromise? What is acceptable?

This is especially difficult for politicians, who have responsibilities to honor their constituencies, their political parties, and their own personal principles. What happens when these three spheres collide? It’s not so easy to decide which to favor.

Going closer to home, compromise and collaboration are at the heart of the life process or cycle in relationships. How do you discern when and how to compromise and collaborate in your personal relationships with people, such as with spouses, children, friends, superiors, and colleagues? The art of negotiation is the art of navigating life. Those who don’t know how to negotiate often die early and alone or trample others under their feet on their way to becoming kings and queens of the hill. So, whether we are talking about Capitol Hill or the hills of everyday life, we need to know which hills to die on. We only get one shot at life in my estimation, so we had better know which hills really matter to us. I’m still learning. How about you?

About Paul Louis Metzger

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger is the Founder and Director of The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins and Professor at Multnomah Biblical Seminary/Multnomah University. He is the author of numerous works, including "Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths" and "Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church." These volumes and his others can be found wherever fine books are sold.

Find me on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+