Compromise and Manners (for everyday life)

I’m going to digress from my normal postings about book writing and comment on everyday life.  I was thinking about my Grandfather, who lived to be 103 years old. I admired him most for his manners. Raised in a day and age where reputation meant everything and manners were a must, he was a gentleman to the day he died.

So what would this have to do with things like gun control and government budgets? First, let me state, to find peace in my life I always try to compromise, find the middle. Politics and religion are a volatile subject even in the best of times. So note here, I’m not taking sides.

But there is a thread of common sense that dictates there is always a fair solution if both sides were to look at them. I’m not fond of guns, nor do I own one. Yet, I have no issue with my husband who owns one, for the sake of hunting deer, elk and antelope. He handles the responsibility for it with great respect. I have no issue with anyone who is responsible with a weapon, whether it be guns, rocks or a box cutter.

I do take issue when the subject gets out of hand and battle lines drawn. Hence the thoughts about my Grandfather. How are the two related?  Compromise and Manners.  Though the human heart will always have an evil side, I believe we can balance that evil with teaching compromise and manners. Again, this is a broad subject that could be narrowed down into religion concepts, laws or control, but we aren’t going there. Let’s concentrate on the simple and you may add the coloring of your political choice later.

If we concentrate first on manners, that would dictate that we listen to one another with an open mind. Hearing and weighing what the other human has to say. Having empathy with their feelings and thoughts. Then comes compromise. The great thing about compromise is neither side gets it’s way totally, but you get some of what you want. Both sides listening, hearing, then acting upon a fair division,

In my Grandfather’s day  manners kept him from offending someone else yet allowed him dignity. He always said thank you, please and opened doors. He respected his elders, even if it was only his sister who was a year older. He had sympathy and empathy and kept his infamous temper under check. Always willing to compromise because he felt peace was the best feeling in the world.

Isn’t this at the core of our disputes? Think about this day and age. Just blurt out anything hateful to get your way. Demean and demoralize, beat them down until only the strongest is standing and wins. Compromising and manners does not mean you are a doormat. But corner an animal and you get attacked.  Give that animal some room, it is much easier to deal with.

Freedom can be abused. Compromise and manners guarantees everyone has freedom. No law can create freedom.  Let’s get back to the basics of common sense. Let us teach our children manners and compromise as the beginning basics. Giving each other respect is the first step to building a strong heart and giving nature.

And that’s what is at the heart of all the killing and strife. If I respect you, then you in return feel worthy. No need to go demand respect by taking other human life. You understand then what a human life is worth. If you feel respected, you don’t feel the need to bully.

We don’t need control and laws which punish the 90 percent who handle their issues with respect. This breeds unrest, pulling away the desire to have manners and compromise. It’s then a vicious circle. We need to get back to the basics of decent human behavior.

My grandfather died a peaceful death, in his sleep, with no ill will towards anyone.  For a man of 103 years old, you’d think his memorial service would have had few family and friends left to attend. It was not so. In the end compromise and manners paid off. All the people he treated with respect, in turn, did the same for him by packing the memorial service with their presence.

This is a legacy worth leaving behind.

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