Monday, May 1, 2017

What Ever Happened to "Win, Win" As an Outcome?

I was watching a network "news" show one morning.  The Vice President of the United States, mentioned that Congress had reached agreement on a piece of legislation that kept the government from shutting down.  One of the news correspondents mentioned the word "compromise" several time.  Unfortunately compromise has not been something that Congress has done well over the past 10 plus years.

In the past decade we have seen political parties become entrenched in viewpoints to the point where nothing is accomplished.  There was a time when people were focused on "win, win" as a strategy.  In "win, win" both parties could gain from a discussion or a deal.  It was the art of compromise.  Instead of defeating the other party, both parties could walk away having gained something.  In a world where there are many divergent viewpoints and opinions there is a need for compromise and give and take.  Unless we develop specific living areas where it is a requirement that everyone agree on everything, we must accept that we cannot always get our way!

It is imperative that we as individuals understand that we cannot force our opinions and viewpoints on others.  Some of us want to make our personal views, the dominant view.  We need to understand that we should not do that.  I call such thoughts  and views the "God" complex.  People who think there is only one specific way to think and believe somehow are placing themselves into a position of being a God on earth.  Such people forget that they are not supreme beings who have the answers to everything.  Those with a "God" complex apparently believe they have a direct communication line with our ultimate Creator, the one who created human beings.

I cringe when I hear people talk about something being the answer to a problem.  My thought is does the proposed answer really benefit everyone?  An example is the current issue about health care coverage.  Congress has been struggling to develop legislation involving health care.  My thought has been that whatever they do, the result will not be beneficial to 100% of the people.  So, what defines a successful health care bill?  If it benefits 80% of the people?  90%?  What is the level of acceptable pain on people?  Is a bill that benefits 80% of the population really a "win, win" proposition?

In such a case the pain caused to the remaining 20% should be a concern.  A way to ease that pain should be sought.  Don't just move on to the next 80-20 solution.  If not, then we as people have come to the conclusion that there must be a winner and a loser in every situation?  We can do better than that.  It may take more work, but a situation that results in a "win, win" for the various parties does seem more compassionate and humane.  Absent compromise comes conflict.  We've all seen how human beings deal with conflict.

As you interact with others during your day, think about the opportunities to compromise on issues rather than seeking your "solution" as being what applies to everyone.

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