Rethinking Compromise

Sunday, December 14, 2014 – Rethinking Compromise

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter. ~ Edmund Burke

Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof; it is temporary expedient, often wise in party politics, almost sure to be unwise in statesmanship. ~ James Russell Lowell

Compromise: n. Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due. ~ Ambrose Bierce

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise. ~ Gore Vidal

A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece. ~ Ludwig Erhard

Compromise: An agreement between two men to do what both agree is wrong. ~ Lord Edward Cecil

A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit. ~ George Herbert

Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. ~ Thomas S. Monson

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough. ~ Abraham Lincoln

The ability to compromise is not a diplomatic politeness toward a partner but rather taking into account and respecting your partner’s legitimate interests. ~ Vladimir Putin

The task of a truly revolutionary party is not to declare that it is impossible to renounce all compromises, but to be able, through all compromises, when they are unavoidable, to remain true to its principles, to its class, to its revolutionary purpose, to its task of paving the way for revolution and educating the mass of the people for victory in the revolution. ~ Vladimir Ilich Lenin

A man’s wife is his compromise with the illusion of his first sweetheart. ~ George Jean Nathan

In a deal, you give and take. You compromise. Then you grab the cash and catch the next train out of town. ~ Irving Paul Lazar

Compromise is a stalling between two fools. ~ Stephen Fry

I remember the second time I took Agatha out. I wanted to go to Dairy Queen, and she wanted to go to Burger King. In the end we settled for wieners and clams at Johnny Hermaphrodite’s. ~ Jarod Kintz

How wonderful it would be if everything could always be as clear and simple as it used to be when you were twelve years old, or twenty years old. If there really were only two colors in the world: black and white. But even the most honest and ingenuous cop, raised on the resounding ideal of the stars and stripes, has to understand sooner or later that there’s more than just Darkness and Light out on the streets. There are understandings, concessions, agreements. Informers, traps, provocations. Sooner or later the time comes when you have to betray your own side, plant bags of heroin in pockets, and beat people on the kidneys – carefully, so there are no marks. ~ Sergei Lukyanenko, Night Watch

If power corrupts, weakness in the seat of power, with its constant necessity of deals and bribes and compromising arrangements, corrupts even more. ~ Barbara Tuchman

I shall argue that strong men, conversely, know when to compromise and that all principles can be compromised to serve a greater principle. ~ Andrew Carnegie

It’s true that Heaven forbids some pleasures, but a compromise can usually be found. ~ Moliere

Sometimes a little compromise isn’t a bad thing. You don’t need to be precious about it. ~ David Sylvian

The compromise will always be more expensive than either of the suggestions it is compromising. ~ Arthur Bloch

Moderation? It’s mediocrity, fear and confusion in disguise. It’s the devil’s dilemma. It’s neither doing nor not doing. It’s the wobbling compromise that makes no one happy. Moderation is for the bland, the apologetic, for the fence-sitters of the world afraid to take a stand. It’s for those afraid to laugh or cry, for those afraid to live or die. Moderation… is lukewarm tea, the devil’s own brew. ~ Dan Millman

The devil is compromise. ~ Henrik Ibsen

They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody? ~ Princess Diana

Virtue knows that it is impossible to get on without compromise, and tunes herself, as it were, a trifle sharp to allow for an inevitable fall in playing. ~ Samuel Butler

We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can’t agree on when it’s necessary to compromise. ~ Larry Wall

You know what the Englishman’s idea of compromise is? He says, some people say there is a God. Some people say there is no God. The truth probably lies somewhere between these two statements. ~ William Butler Yeats

The English never draw a line without blurring it. ~ Winston Churchill

What are facts but compromises? A fact merely marks the point where we have agreed to let investigation cease. ~ Bliss Carman

Compromise is never anything but an ignoble truce between the duty of a man and the terror of a coward. ~ Reginald W. Kaufman

Compromise is when one person wants to rob a bank and the other person does not, and they compromise to rob a person outside of the bank. ~ Christopher Myers

Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible but the world of pure reason knows no compromise, no practical limitations, no barrier to the creative activity. ~ Bertrand Russell

Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions. ~ Samuel Johnson

People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the gray areas. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

If one cannot catch a bird of paradise, better take a wet hen. ~ Nikita Khrushchev

Conciliation is not capitulation, nor is compromise to be deemed equivalent to imbalanced concession. ~ Jalal Talabani

Do you know that the ready concession of minor points is a part of the grace of life? ~ Henry Harland

Each concession we make is accompanied by an inner diminution of which we are not immediately conscious. ~ Emile M. Cioran

I wouldn’t make the slightest concession for moral leadership. It’s much overrated. ~ Dean Rusk

If you are not very clever, you should be conciliatory. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

Compromise, if not the spice of life, is its solidity. It is what makes nations great and marriages happy. ~ Phyllis McGinley

Compromise is simply changing the question to fit the answer. ~ Merrit Malloy

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some people are pragmatists, taking things as they come and making the best of the choices available. Some people are idealists, standing for principle and refusing to compromise. And some people just act on any whim that enters their heads. I pragmatically turn my whims into principles. ~ Bill Watterson

Nobody agrees with anybody else anyhow, but adults conceal it and infants show it. ~ Ogden Nash

It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree. ~ Charles Baudelaire


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