Compromising… settling differences by mutual concessions…seems to be the order of the day. I have had several scenarios of this type occur just as I was composing this week’s blog. The first example of compromise occurred to me as my husband, son-in-law, and I went to eat lunch at Chick-fil-A. As we watched the longest drive-through lines in Lawton, it was noted how quickly everything moved along. The lines inside the establishment were moving as efficiently and quickly as they were outside.
This corporation refused to compromise its standards, beliefs, and Sunday closures to the popular trends in fast food establishments across the country today. Yet, it didn’t lose business; in fact, I think the patronage has grown immensely. The workers are always pleasant and mannerly, and the food always tastes good. The company took a stand and remains one of the most popular eating places in our area. They did not follow greed by expanding their physical plant; instead choosing to double the drive through lane to two deep, and sending waiters out to take orders down the line. Even an outdoor cashier helps keep things moving. This is the only place my husband will agree to wait in line…all because they did not compromise their standards, and the line moves quickly!
The second scenario involved my receiving a phone call from someone in our city government who wanted our students to take part in a poster contest that they sponsor annually. I explained that our students have always taken part, until last year. At that time, the contest was changed to a coloring sheet being done by everyone and the winner drawn from a hopper. My students decided they didn’t like that “lucky drawing” as the reward for spending time and effort making their best poster creations.
At that moment in our conversation, the young man said it would be different this year since the students would be given a blank sheet rather than a coloring picture. I then explained that it didn’t change the situation at all. A person who spent five minutes on a poster could win by the draw. The caller then explained that “for legal reasons” they couldn’t have judging anymore. I asked if that was so they could be “politically correct.” He answered hesitatingly. I said, “This is exactly why our school exists. We do not have to be politically correct…but could judge a piece of work on merit rather than making sure all entries are kept equal with the ‘chance of a lucky draw.’” I do not take a cent of government funds or tax exemptions so I can remain free of the necessary “Compromising” that goes with such perks.
There are times when compromise is necessary. We have many such times in a school for gifted students. Teamwork often requires compromise since all the students have high standards of achievement, and usually will fight tooth and toenail to see their efforts be the “one chosen.” But even in our compromising, we weigh the merits of each case. Then, we teach students to learn from their failures, and to turn them into future successes.
And even though I am called “technologically illiterate” by some because I won’t adopt the latest gizmos and gadgets, I am not bothered. You see, I have not “compromised” my personal life and information on the “world-wide-web” so it would be free to hackers everywhere! Oops! I have compromised to the extent that I have shared my innermost feelings in these weekly blogs. Oh well, you win some and you lose some!