“I don’t think we should try to make space our own. I believe that as modern people we should live in mobility. We should always be moving.” Yohji Yamamoto
The story says that when the Buddha became enlightened, he initially declined to share his experience with other people. He thought that nobody would be able to understand him. Nonetheless, because people kept requesting him some teachings, the Buddha eventually shared his wisdom. One may wonder how the world would look like if the Buddha had insisted his way – if he had been intransigent.
The word “intransigence” relates the trait of stubbornly refusing to make a compromise. It can easily be associated with the idea of being narrow-minded. Hence, when another person calls us “Mr. or Mrs Intransigent“, we often tend to deny. However, most people are intransigent at least once in their lifetime.
For instance, one manager finds it worries that delegating a task might lower his or her high-level quality expectations. Another example could be an organization that pursues “perfection” as one’s corporate value.
Etymologically, the verb transigere means to come to an agreement. Nonetheless, it may express lacking a moral compass.
In today’s world, the changes are rapid and “highly contradictory values and divergent ways of living exist side by side” (K. Horney, 1946). Hence, to form and to maintain one’s own moral compass and values is undoubtedly critical because the choices to make are manifold and arduous.
At the same time, it is equally important to agree at least partly with reality so that one can engage oneself with it. Thus, the dilemma: when do we hold on, and when do we allow ourselves some “compromises”?
Mr Intransigent holds his position based on the belief that his inner world is superior to any compromise. Facing the tension between his view and the reality, he hopes that the reality will adjust to his perception by itself. Because Mrs Intransigent holds a static position, any change might barely happen. More importantly, even if any change occurs, it will come from neither Mr nor Mrs Intransigent.
To adopt a more dynamic and contributive stance, Mr and Mrs Intransigent will benefit from initiating some mental mobility around their position. The mental mobility would result in allowing oneself to explore mentally the consequences deriving from the implementation of the unfavourable option.
Such movement can take place by reflecting on the benefits of sticking on his preferred position and how his world could reasonably change from there. Hence, to compare those benefits with the ones resulting from adjusting his view and how such a change could positively impact one’s world.
Being intransigent cut us from taking part in any dynamic of change. So, to change one’s world, one needs to engage in allowing one’s mind to refuse stubbornness!
About the importance of practising mental mobility when someone calls you “Mr or Mrs Intransigent”. - February 2020 - article réalisé par Sebastien BAERT