Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Compatibility Paradigm

Most individuals around the globe knowing, or most likely, unknowingly practice the compatibility model when choosing friends. Corporations hire individuals not necessarily based on diversity as much as compatibility. In other words, they want individuals that not only get along with their workforce, but have the same values. Thus, it is a common practice to search for friends, mates, and peers that think like us and ignore those that are have different viewpoints and offer more diversity. After all, people are creatures of habit and will fight change with a passion. We all unknowingly practice prejudices when selecting friends. No, this is not necessarily racism since people will friend people from other ethnicities if they have similar points of view. And yes, this is the reason for our ever growing ideological polarity in our country. It has gotten so bad, we cannot stand to hear different viewpoints that conflict our beliefs.

Need more proof that there is a compatibility paradigm? Yes, and then consider who our children’s best friends are? Technology! Our kid’s best friends are videogames (I like to call Nintendo – “Nofriendo”) and when they try to communicate with friends they use interpersonal social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. After all, these are great friends because they do not talk back and disagree with our egotistical points of view. If someone negatively responds, one can simply use their great social skills by deleting the response or even removing the adversary from their friend list.

My wife and I were married in a Catholic Church. In order to do so, the Priest put us through their Marriage Preparation program which consisted of an assortment of consoling and even a written test. The objective of the test was to gage the couples’ compatibility. After our testing showed that my wife and I were polar opposites, the Priest was quick to ask me to double think our marriage. This was nothing new; we knew we were vastly different and polar opposites on the Myers-Briggs personality test. It was our differences that made us better people because we have become more tolerable and open to hear opposing viewpoints.

Instead, I challenged our Priest and the Catholic Religion to change its archaic and rigid policies. I urged him to have a paradigm shift from testing for compatibility to devising a way for couples to learn how to manage their disagreements. After all, no couple is 100% compatible and there will be differences and therefore, disputes. I argued that a couple that is 95% compatible is not guaranteed their marriage will not fail. It only takes one disagreement, coupled with poor problem solving skills, to end a marriage. On the other hand, an incompatible couples’ marriage, who have good problem solving skills, can survive because they are open minded and can solve their differences using commonsense solutions and compromises.

It is time for Americans to break our ever growing dependence on the “Compatibility Paradigm”. This is a major barrier that has been making Americans less personal and incapable of compromising to bridge our ideological differences. Indeed, it is time for a paradigm shift toward tolerance and respect for ideological differences and diversity. If it is racist to condemn a person over their religious beliefs or ethnic culture, then it should be intolerable to condemn others because they simply have different political views.

My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)


  1. Hi There Patrick!

    This is an interesting post because to a certain extent I agree and to a certain extent I don’t. The inevitable dilemma of being part of a society (not that we really have any choice) is that everyone has different ideas on how things should be, and the fight to keep from being perpetually tyrannized certainly makes it difficult to “just get along.” Our Founders resolved this dilemma as best they could by establishing a basic set of rules to guarantee certain protections and to provide an orderly, non-violent means of resolving our inevitable conflicts. To the extent that everyone abides by that I am perfectly willing to be tolerant of different perspectives, even when it means that my preferred way of doing things is overruled. The problem I have is with those who want to be part of this society and partake of all its benefits, but who are continually trying to circumvent the Constitution and illegitimately exert their will over everyone else, i.e. the Obamas of this world. I don’t condemn them merely because their views are different. I condemn them because they won’t play by the rules and by virtue of that they take freedoms from me that I never consented to give.

    But having said that I do agree with you that the ability to get along and tolerate different views is a critical component of a successful society.

  2. CW, I cannot argue with that - well said.

    Hope everything is going okay in Texas?

  3. Yes, all is well – just very busy lately. I’ve been seriously missing my blogging time.

    How are things with you?

  4. Keeping busy is good. Hope you get back to blogging soon.

    I am doing well even though I do not see Romney beating Obama. The more I look at the numbers, the more I think Romney's path to 270 electoral votes is going to hard. He has no room for error. We'll see.

  5. You're scaring me again, Patrick.

  6. I am scaring myself. The weird part is that the national polls look pretty good. However, the state polls look bad. Romney is well behind in all the critical states and he has to win them all - NC, Fla, Ohio, Virginia. We'll see, still 25 weeks to go.