Compromise is not an attractive word. It gives off the feeling of watered down, lukewarm outcomes where neither party really wins at all.
But some level of compromise is guaranteed. None of us get to live our perfect lives. No-one lives flawlessly in some utopian world where everything is exactly as they had hoped.
We all have to compromise. The question is, how do we do it?
Knowing when to stand our ground and push on, and when to be flexible is no scientific endeavour. We aren't handed a guidebook that tells us which actions we should be taking today.
For me, as a Christian, I look to be led by my peace. Not simply whether I feel calm, but something deeper, something at the core of me giving me a sense of direction.
I see this a lot like the red/amber/green traffic light system. When I'm at peace, it's like a green light on the inside of me. Go ahead. But more than simply being at peace, I feel drawn to move forwards in this.
Then there's amber. Here still I feel peace, but I've no definitive drawing forwards. Is this the right path? I'm not sure, proceed with caution.
Then there's red. For whatever reason, something may seem great on the surface, but it's just not the right path for me. Maybe it's me. Maybe it's them. Maybe it's both of us together. Whatever it is, this isn't a wise move.
In amongst this, if the signal is green or amber, I'm looking to move forwards, step by step, whilst watching to see if the signal changes.
The past month or so I've been doing a lot of this. Moving forwards step by step, testing out this door and that. I've been looking for a new job, and trying to weigh up what the right path to take isn't simple. For me, it's a process.
This morning I've a phone call to chat through a job offer. I'm sure they'll be looking to negotiate terms, and I'm thinking through what I'm happy to compromise, and what I'm not.
Life isn't about living perfectly, everything lined up like domino's with just one nudge of effort to make it all go through.
No person is an island. We all have to compromise in one way or the other. The question is, where do we draw the line?