A friend once said something that really changed my life. I was having a ridiculous little pity party about the fact that I never really get my way being the only girl in a family of boys. Since I'm so outnumbered, our activities don't usually revolve around pedicures, shopping, and PBS Pride and Prejudice marathons. I always have to COMPROMISE and never really get to do exactly what I would like. My friend stopped me and said, "You are looking at this all wrong". I said, "How so?" She told me that it is not compromise, it is WIN-WIN. When I thought about it, she was so right. It's all about the lens through which we view things. If you think you are compromising, it is somehow implied that you are not getting what you want. If you view it as win-win, everyone is getting what they want. Isn't that so simple and brilliant? What if every conflict big and small could be a win-win. If everyone gave a little more and demanded a little less and we all met in the middle. Everyone gets what they want. I love this perspective. It has helped me so many times when dealing with conflict resolution.
With all that's going on in the world, I've been thinking about this a lot. Recently I came across an article in which the Dalai Lama was interviewed regarding the state of the world these days. He mentioned something about solving conflict by "living the middle way". What is living the middle way? In the most basic explanation, living the middle way is trying not to live in any one extreme (either over indulgence of pleasurable experiences or extreme deprivation). In other words, moderation. Sound familiar? I heard my friend's brilliant and simple words in this philosophy. Wouldn't things be so much more harmonious if we all strived to meet "in the middle". If everyone practiced this at home with their loved ones and there was a ripple effect far and wide, who knows, maybe the world might just be a whole lot more at peace. Wishing all of you a peaceful, win-win, Thanksgiving that is right down the middle. (That is, after you have all stuffed yourselves until it hurts....then meet in the middle.... Ha!)