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Compromising Values

October 20, 2012

To one like myself, who is accustomed to a particular set of beliefs which guide my life, the notion of compromise isn’t something I’m used to; indeed, I hoped (a futile hope it seems) that I would never have to compromise on what I believe in to live my life happily and completely. But outside this fantastical dream of perfection lies reality, and in the real world compromises are necessary to cooperate, live with, or even interact with others.

I have forgotten this simple truth, because I am used to, at least in my own mind, being alone. I have taken solace in my solitude, and it has been a great virtue to me. I can sit, think, analyze, observe, and freely believe what I believe and draw my own conclusions of what I think is right. No one can tell me what I should do, who I should be, or what I should believe. Indeed, solace is necessary for true liberty, and herein lies the problem, a sort of expanded “hedgehog’s dilemma”: Should I wish for freedom, or happiness?

Alone, I am completely free, but I am also empty, melancholic, dissatisfied, incomplete. To quote the Bible, “It is not good that man should be alone”. So I must have a woman, right? But to have a woman who is completely in agreement with me, that is impossible, and even if it were possible, it would be unbearably boring. Disagreement is good then, as it makes life interesting, and challenges the opposing halves to grow, improve, and ultimately- synthesize their differences into new life, new creation. This is the meaning of life, to find the unity underlying all diversity.

I have found my one and only, so all that remains is for us to find that balance between agreement and disagreement. We have our own beliefs, interpretations, behaviors, values, and ideas about life. There is much we have in common, but much also that we disagree about. We have some difference of opinion about virtually every topic commonly discussed, and while when we agree the agreement is wholehearted, when we disagree it seems at times unresolvable. We are both very stubborn, passionate, and opinionated about what we believe in, and this sometimes creates a chasm between us.

Compromise is about building the bridge between worlds, between my world and hers, between my beliefs and her own, to cross the chasm of difference to synthesize a greater unity, thereby creating a new world entirely. These differences exist to be conquered, by conquering does not mean to agree or to disagree, but to be inspired by each other’s differences to forge newer, greater beliefs altogether. This is the challenge of all relationships, but particularly that of a man and his wife, the spiritual twins bound to be together for all eternity. This is our journey!

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