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Compromise or lines in the sand

Confessions of a realistic pollyanna

I grew up as the middle child in a household. One thing I learned is that the one way to avoids in the household was to learn when there are times that sometimes I had to compromise. I could not have my way all of the time. Sometimes others needed to get their way. Sometimes in order to maintain harmony, compromise was needed.

Other times, rare times, it was important to set firm boundaries. If someone's actions hurt me or others, then I needed to say so. If someone's actions were dangerous or foolhardy then I needed to say that was wrong. If someone was doing something which I felt was totally abhorrent, I could not just sit back and compromise, I needed to speak up. When faced with conflicts in life, sometimes we need to choose between compromise and division, but in general compromise is best.

Too often in politics, we see politicians acting like the members on the other side of the house are 100% wrong, and fellow members are 100% right. But no party is 100% right all of time. No party is 100% wrong all of the time. This political blindness is not limited to politicians. Voters who always vote the same way tend to focus on parties successes or failures in different ways. Yes party x made huge mistakes last time they were in power but I will vote for them because they support x,y, and z. However no party has a monopoly on future planning, sound financial management, and doing the best for the country. Therefore when I vote, it is imperative that I know where each party stands and how each candidate will vote.

But sometimes politicians can't separate from good common sense of working together and the us and them side of politics. Take Brexit for instance. I know it is a very contentious subject. Some want to leave. Many don't. Politicians from the major parties are on either side of the issue have drawn lines over the issue. They are worried about the border in Ireland, sovereignty, trade, unity and separateness. There seem to be too many people drawing lines and not enough people making compromises. With too many different lines, chaos has reigned. Will Britain leave? Will Britain leave on April 12th, or in May, or next year? Or will it stay? Will there be easy trade and tourism or will borders and tariffs return?

With each vote taken in parliament, the way forward seems ever more muddied. Instead of working together, the fights keeping get more divisive as more lines are drawn. Chaos seems to reign supreme.

When things are falling apart, maybe it is time to go back to those rules of childhood. Yes maybe we need to draw lines sometimes, but in general negotiation is best. Sometimes we need to ask for help. Sometimes we need to brainstorm together. Sometimes we need to utilise give and take. Sometimes we need to drop us and them thinking, and consider everyone to be us. What Brexit shows us, the days of fingerpointing, blaming, and scapegoating need to be over. We need to work together or the chaos that we have created will kill us. Blessings

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