“You could think of compromise As a co-promise…”

I first learned the concept of the third way during college and decided at the time to set aside the word “compromise” from my vernacular. Compromise seemed historically fraught with a focus on sacrifice, something lost, with each person giving to settle for something agreeable. And the concept of win-win-win seemed suspended in headiness, still missing the groundedness of heart. 

The third way turned the focus on generating, being intentional, forming organic solutions from the elements involved and for the sake of those involved. We could reframe compromise similarly, to mean a co-promise with the one we are navigating life with at the moment—our business partner, child (growing or adult), friend, sweetheart, project, and ourselves.

In a third way, or co-promise, we are bringing the best of ourselves to the table in a generative engagement with life, to innovate, create, to love. Yes, we are letting go of old selves, old values, old relations and habits in the meantime. Not to settle, to evolve and generate more life.


~Shelley Hawkins

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