The Art of Compromise/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on October 7, 2020


When parties in a dispute are at the point of deadlock, compromise can be a useful strategy. I am currently reading a book about Rep. John Lewis, “The Truth is Marching On” by Jon Meacham. The narrative reviews the 1941 dream of A. Philip Randolph, a civil rights leader, to organize a March on Washington. FDR was then President and feared the reaction to such a March by the Southern politicians. Randolph was not prepared to give in to the popular President. He foresaw 100,000 marchers. Ultimately, a compromise was brokered by Mayor LaGuardia on NYC. If Randolph cancelled his plans, FDR would sign an executive order desegregating defense employment. This proposal was deemed acceptable to both sides.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, had this to say about compromise: “Compromise for your dream, but never compromise on your dream.” In the case of Mr. A Philip Randolph, he did not have to compromise on his dream. He was an trusted advisor to the organizers of the March on Washington, forty years later in 1963.

Mediate don’t litigate.