“Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.” Thomas S. Monson
I was recently asked what 180 degree turn has occurred in my life. What was a change in my views, reversed decision or an action not otherwise expected from me.
I thought-are you serious? That list is long. Let’s see..
I was in church, am now out of church.
I was a faithful Bible teacher, am now unsure what is truth.
I once was positive that the Bible was the only inspired, infallible Word of God, now see it as a ‘sacred writing’ along with others.
I once was a part of a community who taught women couldn’t be ordained, teach men or preach. I now view that as ridiculous.
I once was a part of a community who taught it was wrong to drink or dance. I now enjoy wine with dinner and dancing to almost any melody.
So, how would I narrow that down? All the above are tiny, individual activities that were largely sponsored by a group of people who taught there is no compromise. There is ONLY BLACK and WHITE- GOOD and EVIL.
That is the greatest change. I now see gray. I see the need to compromise. Before, we were taught to ‘die on the sword of truth-be a martyr!’. Now, I;m not so willing to take that sacrificial tone.
I see beauty in discussion. I see wisdom in exploration. I see value in looking at two sides of a situation and coming to a consensus on the way to proceed. My mother always said, “there is good and bad in everything.” and I think she had it figured out. It is how we approach, use, and impose our actions that can make them good or bad. And oft times the same action can evoke both responses from others.
War may be an example. Think of the millions killed out of ‘courage’ to stand for what that group believed was right. Maybe they were. Maybe they weren’t. Would we have become a nation had we not rebelled over what we believed was right? I personally do not like war. I do not like hurting other people.
Have we lost the ability to communicate and see both sides of an issue or activity? I hope not. That is my change. I no longer take the ‘provided response.’ I search for myself, and in many cases find wonderful opportunities to compromise and bring peace to many people.
“I simply do not think that yelling, swearing, threatening or belittling will get you to the place you want to be faster than kindness, understanding, patience and a little willingness to compromise.” Rachel Nichols