People are driven by desires. But there are times when you would not even know that you have stifled a desire to pave way for something more socially acceptable. Let’s briefly slip into the cliche usage of a well said quote to illustrate the character of a compromise – “Human beings are born solitary, but everywhere they are in chains – daisy chains – of interactivity. Social actions are makeshift forms, often courageous, sometimes ridiculous, always strange. And in a way, every social action is a negotiation, a compromise between ‘his,’ ‘her’ or ‘their’ wish and yours”, said the famous pop artist Andy Warhol.
Basically, compromise is a daily transaction in a person’s life, it takes place so often, that there comes a point where you stop noticing it. It is a malaise that is wrapped in virtuous paper and made out to be holier than it really is. We are made to believe that we cannot achieve true happiness if we do not sacrifice something. Pain is gain right?
Take the case of a little child who is convinced there is no god and has no faith in religion but is born in an extremely religious family that is rigorous and strict with certain practices. Initially the child might try to protest against certain practices, it could be something as simple as not wanting to say a prayer before eating because the hunger pangs cannot wait. The child will question the elders, “why do I have to thank God for food, it is father who works hard to earn the bread”, be met with extremely unsatisfactory answers and yet be forced to practice traditions that do not make sense. The child is conditioned into practicing a religion he does not believe in and it becomes so ingrained in his system that the compromise becomes his practice.
Compromise by definition is a two way deal, where both parties lose something. But how often do you think it happens? More often than not, one side definitely loses something while the other side pretends to have lost something.
One has to agree that compromises in general can be good but one cannot disagree that compromises can also be dangerous. Small compromises lead to bigger ones. For example when a baby is born into the family, it is expected of the woman to quit her job and look after the child and the husband pledges to sacrifice soccer watching time to help. And nobody is saying that this arrangement is a bad thing, what is worrisome is that this compromise has become a general practice. It is okay when the women voluntarily quits, not when she is forced into quitting because it is expected out of her.
The idea of a compromise is quite frankly – very fucked up. One could possibly write an entire book about it. With stories and tonnes and tonnes of examples. The word is a euphemistic term for people to get their way. It is a term that feeds hypocrisy and cloaks greed. Instead of demanding something upfront, people wrap their demands in the word “compromise”. It is perhaps to make the other person feel virtuous and not a pushover. Compromise is a bitch. It’s like saying “let’s both give up a part of our dreams and be happy for now, the resentment shall be our dessert for later”.