Compromising is not the end of the world
Congratulations, everyone. Against all odds, we survived 2012. At times it looked like we might not make it. The election tore us apart, and even when it was over, we all had to hold on as we plummeted over the fiscal cliff.
Now we’ve got battles going back and forth about gun safety and tax increases, and when we’re not arguing about that kind of stuff, we’re lamenting Kim and Kanye’s baby or Lance Armstrong’s doping.
With all of this drama, we need to stop looking at the Mayan calendar and realize—it’s not the end of the world. In fact, if we don’t take a universal dose of perspective, the “end of the world” rumors might become self-fulfilling prophecies.
I don’t think I’m the only one who longs to find moderates in a world of extremism. In our society, “compromise” has become a four-letter word, and we’re left with a constant battle that no one ever wins.
Looking at conflict in politics, the way Congress handles issues facing our country is a giant game of tug-of-war, and eventually everyone is covered in mud. We’re raising generations of people who will look to the example of their government and see that the best way to handle conflict is to put down opponents and refuse to budge.
The serious issues facing our society are three-dimensional, and no viable solution is going to be found by looking only at two diametrically opposed points of view.
For example, I am supportive of the second amendment and less government control, but I’m hard-pressed to think of a reason someone would ever need a semi-automatic assault rifle. However, the only viewpoints covered show extremists who view that if guns remain legal, people should live in constant fear of their lives or those who view that if guns are outlawed, the government will start taking away all of our basic constitutional rights. So, why can’t we look at the whole spectrum and come up with a creative solution that benefits everybody?
It isn’t just the serious issues on which we fail to compromise. Look at the comments on YouTube or Twitter. Even on social media, we often refuse to see middle ground. What could blossom into a conversation about compromise or at least agreeing to disagree often gets caught up in a whirlwind of ad hominem attacks and skewed reasoning.
One poor choice does not inevitably lead to another, and just because I watch seven YouTube videos of cats in a row does not mean that I’m going to die surrounded by felines in 50 years when my Life Alert fails. Similarly, a few (even 535) extreme congressmen don’t have to be the reason our country polarizes.
Nothing is gained in jumping to the extreme conclusions or hyper-focusing on only one or two sides of a complex issue. We’ll have far less drama if we realize that compromising isn’t the end of the world.