Being Free, Being You, Values

Freedom vs Compromise (Part 1)

You were born free, but somewhere along the way you lost your freedom. Was it fear? Fear of rejection? Fear of being let down? Fear of not being enough, or good enough, or pretty enough, or intelligent enough? What bound you? What have you compromised? What have you given up or lost? What do you compromise for the sake of peace or security? Do you compromise your dreams, your desires, your identity, your values, your freedom to be you? Where did you choose freedom vs compromise?

How often do we compromise our freedom? How do we know when we are compromising our freedom? We can compromise our freedom in various ways. One way of choosing compromise over freedom is being in an unhealthy relationship for example, and choosing to stay in that relationship for the false sense of security it gives. Another way would be give in to someone else’s expectations of you, at the expense of denying yourself an opportunity to express yourself or to grow personally.

Everyone has the right to be free, to be themselves, to follow their heart, to pursue their dreams, to fulfill their life purpose. Yet so many of us are not free. We have let life circumstances dictate our choices for us. We have given up our dreams, and let our life purpose slip away. Basically, we compromise.

Compromise can be both positive or negative. When compromise is used it means each side loses something and gains something else in return so that every one is happy. It also means that you are willing to settle for a price, i.e. losing something, for instance your freedom. But is everyone happy?

People compromise all the time, when you are willing to forfeit something in order to achieve an agreement. For example, you would like to see a movie on at the theatre, but you do not have money, so you rent one. Or a wife wants to go out for dinner because she doesn’t want to cook and the husband wants to stay home and watch TV, so they order pizza.

In the movie “To Kill a Mocking Bird”, Atticus asks his daughter Scout if she knows what compromise is. She says, “Bending the law?” He said, “Its an agreement reached by mutual consent.”  But is it always by mutual consent? If you give up your freedom for the sake of another’s expectations on you, or through coercion, or guilt, or fear, is that really mutual consent? What do you think?

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