Paris vaut bien une messe (Paris is well worth a Mass)
Henri IV, King of France
This is one of the few things which has stuck in my head from my halycon days of French at uni (that, and a couple of really cute Arts/Law guys, but I digress). It is rumoured that Henri, then king of Navarre said this when he was offered the kingdom of France. As a Protestant, he converted to Catholicism in order to become the French king and set in motion religious tolerance of the Huguenots during his reign.
Closer to home, my grandfather Stanley converted to from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism in order to marry my granny Kitty, in 1940s Ireland (another time of religious intolerance). Their marriage yielded seven children (one of whom was my mum) and lasted until his death in 1984.
Compromise is something which is underrated, and often denotes weakness. In these two cases, it was done for political gain, and love. Obviously the ends justified the sacrifice, and considering what eventuated from their decisions, was the right choice.
In people’s personal lives, the give-and-take that occurs in a relationship is part of the cement which keeps people together. Relinquishing or yielding to the other person is often seen as a power play, but compromise or sacrifice can show to your partner that they are worth it.
It doesn’t have to be a big thing- it can be as little as getting out of bed early to look after the kids so the other person can sleep in, sitting through a movie you didn’t want to watch, or the obligatory relative visit.
Compromising your career for children, your independence for a relationship is not to be taken lightly.At times you can resent it, but then there can be greater rewards over time. Would you rather be saying ‘I wish I had spent more time at work in meetings’ at the end of your life, or ‘I’m glad I spent that time with my loved ones’?
You can compromise too much and you can be left a shell of yourself, especially when the give and take seems to be one person giving, the other taking. It’s at that moment you have to be true to yourself, and pull out and pull back.
Because you’re worth it.