Compromise

A powerful word, easily taken for granted. Yet increasingly common and engrafted in the lives of men and women across the world today. And has almost become the norm.

By definition, compromise refers to “an agreement or settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions”. In order to achieve a greater good, sometimes you have to give a little. This is healthy. We see this primarily in the context of disputes or contractual arrangements, where the final agreement may not match one’s initially desired terms, but is still acceptable having regard to the entire arrangement and the overall benefit to the parties concerned. So, compromise is not necessarily a bad thing and should be actively pursued where the circumstances require.

However, this interpretation is not the subject of my musings today.  Compromise is also defined as “the expedient acceptance of standards that are lower than is desirable”. That is, in order to achieve a greater good, one accepts a standard lower than he usually would in order to see the process across the line. Sometimes it’s intentional. Other times, it’s purely out of ignorance. Some are desperate to attain the desired goal, and others simply indifferent to presumed moral standards. Whatever the motive or rationale, every other day we’re seeing unhealthy compromises by men and women, oftentimes with extremely grave consequences. And this is my focus.

But what’s this got to do with caking, you may ask? And I say, everything. Walk with me a few minutes as I explain.

Success is something most of us aspire for. And if you’re not the one I’m talking to, that’s also alright. We live in a dynamic world. It’s ever developing and evolving at the hands of men. Men are growing smarter and wiser by the day, and unlocking game changing strategies and concepts. It’s no wonder we’re inspired on all sides to do more and become more. To get up, show up and create something that will impact the world. We want to be good at what we’re doing, to greatly succeed at it, and to be recognised for it on some level. We’re passionate about our pursuits and have found purpose in them. Ambition is a wonderful thing. A driving force underpinning the advances that we’re witnessing in society today.

But therein lies the problem. In a world where everyone’s moving and shaking, doing and going, becoming and increasing; the pressure’s hot! If you choose to sleep while men are awake, that’s your call. But for the ones that are playing the game and participating in this rhythm, they can’t sleep; neither can they slumber. Because you can be overtaken or become redundant or simply lose relevance in just a minute. Now, this isn’t to say we’re competing. But let’s face it. It’s a race. Everyone’s running. Just as you are. But each at their own pace and vibration.

This is the point where wisdom is required. We must deliberately and purposefully steer clear of the spirit of compromise in our efforts to be elevated. After all. A person without boundaries is a danger to himself and possibly those around him too. If you’re willing to cross any line to get where you’re going, this behaviour will eventually catch up with you and land you up in trouble. Where you may even stand to lose all of the success you’ve built over many years. Simply because you said yes when you should have said no. You walked through a door when you should have respectfully declined. Some have enjoyed the fruit of their compromises for so long without consequence. Call it ‘luck of the draw’ (although that’s not the correct term). They have walked in the ‘shame’ (and I use that term only in the context of referring to the lower standard adopted and not to imply some sense of morality) for so long that it has begun to look like glory. And they’re wearing it well. But for others, the moment they rose, they fell. Just as they started swimming, they drowned. And they never even got to enjoy the glory that came with the elevation.

As Tsim & Bibi, we constantly remind ourselves who we are in the pursuit of our vision. We’re clear on the boundary lines that we’ve set for ourselves and within which we seek to grow. We came to the market in 2021 with a product underpinned on specific promises to you, our clientele. And while we may be challenged every other day to compromise out of certain promises simply because of the circumstances of the day, we must stand taller. And I’ll pause here and give an example that is specific to us. One of the promises that we greatly pride ourselves in is to only use the best quality ingredients in our products. In the inflationary environment that we currently find ourselves, where input costs are rising at alarming rates, we’re kept in check by our promises. Being our standards. Tsim & Bibi only supplies the freshest products. We guarantee that you can eat our cakes for at least 7 days from the date of purchase, and they’ll taste like you bought them the same day right through. We only use butter. We do not use cake pre-mixes. We bake every single product from scratch, and also do everything within our power to maintain freshness during the entire process. How easy it would be to substitute butter with margarine, to remove cream cheese and fresh cream, to purchase smaller eggs or buy cheap types of chocolate, and so on. To compromise for the greater good; being to keep the business going; to ensure that our team remains employed; to meet our expenses, etc. All good reasons.

The moment you opt for that lower standard is the moment you drop to the lower level. And eventually, the results will speak for themselves. You would only be fooling yourself. The world might not see it (at least initially), but the products also have eyes. And they’ll eventually respond to you in the same manner. Then the world will follow suit.

I’m very late with today’s blog. It’s the last day of August. It would be an error to wake up tomorrow justifying why I missed the month. This turns on a deliberate commitment to some standard and the requisite consistency that I’m alluding to in the context of today’s topic. Because the moment you allow yourself to drop a standard, that small hole becomes a crack, and eventually the crack becomes a whole door. You’ll find yourself justifying your way from the very place you started by your circumstances or situation or otherwise. There’s always a reason. And while it may make sense, or be reasonably acceptable, these are actually just excuses. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you’re not going to, that’s ok. But don’t justify the compromises. Rather set high standards that you can grow into. Just don’t lower them.

Society is filled with stories of men and women who’re paying hugely for past decisions that were made as a compromise in an effort to attain some greater goal. Whether it be the pursuit of a relationship or business or promotion or influence or status or whatever. Time is proving that the line crossed was just not worth it. I can only imagine how they wish the hands of time could turn back. So, they could do it again. For some, sadly, it’s too late.

Our is not to judge. That’s not our place or space. The caution is simply to learn. Let’s determine to be wiser as a generation and spare ourselves the unnecessary pain. Slow and steady still gets the job done. No short cuts!

Yours in baking,

Chi

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