Compromise: A Key Virtue in Getting Things Done

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Our society can be so hostile. Everybody seems to take sides; us against them, democrats against republicans, organic agriculture against conventional agriculture, Christians against atheists. Standing for an extreme is not a good way to solve problems because the world is not black and white. It creates more problems than it solves.

Great things really happen when people come together and compromise.

Organic agriculturists say conventional agriculture is evil because it causes erosion and produces nutritionally inferior crops. Conventional agriculturists say organic agriculturists are illogical because organic agriculture cannot sustain the large population we have today. The two sides debate. They have been debating for decades.

It is okay for people to disagree. But if truly great things are going to happen, we need to compromise in the face of that disagreement.

Our agricultural situation will only produce nutritionally superior crops without the costs of erosion and environmental damage, while maintaining its ability to feed such a large population, when the people who disagree with one another can work together.

Fortunately, compromise is happening in the world of agriculture. Most people haven’t heard of the movement because it doesn’t make an attention sucking news story, and the ones who do great things are often quietly working away. The movement is called conservative agriculture. It focuses on cutting down on synthetic fertilizers and replacing chemical pesticides with more natural means of controlling pests.

Those who see past the extremes, and instead aim for the ideal – maintaining healthier land and yielding the highest possible amounts of crops – must be willing to compromise. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet. It is a slow, hard process. That doesn’t matter to the good people though. What matters is building and keeping a beautiful world.

The issue with extremes is not just an agricultural issue. Extremism runs rampant. So many people only want that emotional rush. From politics to medicine to relationships, extremism turns people into religious zealots for whatever it is they idolize.

Extremism has its place in the world, but the good stuff really happens when we compromise.

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