Below is a piece I first published almost two years ago. However, it is perhaps more relevant today than it was back then. I have updated it slightly, but the point is exactly the same.
One day I was driving my daughter to her job volunteering at the hospital. As we drove, we ended up stopping at a light where we were positioned on a bridge over an Interstate. As we sat, a stream of traffic coming off the Interstate crossed in front of us and then over the bridge to our left. Several of the vehicles were large trucks.
As the trucks crossed over from the land to the bridge, there was a palpable vibration in the bridge. It was strong enough that my daughter turned to me with a panicked look in here eye and said, “is the bridge going to break?”
Of course the bridge wasn’t breaking.
The bridge was doing exactly what it is designed to do,
bend without breaking.
One only needs to watch the first ten minutes of the evening news to see how our world is lacking what the bridge engineers knew was absolutely necessary, strength AND flexibility. We all face situations every day where we must balance our commitment to what we believe in, with our desire to move forward.
In our work, as a spouse, a parent, as a sibling, as a friend, as a consumer, and as a driver on the road, we are asked hundreds of times a day, “do I dig in my heels or yield?” Most of the time it is some combination of the two.
Call it whatever you want: compromise, willingness to negotiate, flexibility, or creative problem solving; today’s world seems to have it in short supply.
Just like every smartphone manufacturer is working to find the perfect screen that is hard enough not to scratch, but soft enough not to shatter, so must we seek to find ways to address the challenges before us where progress seems impossible.
I don’t have any more answers here than anybody else, but I do remember a lesson taught to me more than four decades ago by a certain Doctor.
He was not a Doctor of medicine, nor psychology or a PhD some fancy science. No he was a Doctor of life and he saw things more clearly than most of us can today.
Take the next three and a half minutes to recall the story of the Zax. They both insisted on winning… and in doing so, they assured that they both would lose.
Dr. Seuss for President? Maybe it is a crazy idea, but what we’ve been doing for decades isn’t working. Perhaps it is time to take a step to the side and see what happens.
Copyright © 2016 – Stephen S. Nazarian – All rights reserved.