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Not A Hill To Die On

Updated on June 16, 2012

A few months ago I asked one of my cousins to intercede in a family dispute and to act on my behalf to help solve the problem. His role was going to be that of a negotiator. He had spent several years in the foreign service and has the skills required for the role.

Not long into the process he one day said to me, “it’s not a hill to die on”. Not long after this he used this phrase on the other side too. I gave this much thought and understand exactly what he is saying. There are many ways to say the same thing, and I think we need to be reminded about this from time to time. And by we I mean individuals as well as organizations and countries. How many conflicts and disputes could have been avoided if we took a step back and considered if it was a hill to die on?

Some other ways to say the same thing are: don’t cut off your nose to spite your face; is it worth dying for?; you’ll lose more than you’ll gain; and it’s not worth fighting over.

I recall that Wayne Dyer said in one of his talks or books that if he received a bill from the IRS for $100 and knew that they were totally wrong, he would instruct his accountant to pay the bill because it would cost him more than $100 to fight the IRS. This is the sensible and reasonable thing to do, and we all know how successful Mr. Dyer is.

However, most people, your humble servant included, get stuck on such things as right and wrong, principles, honesty, ego, pride, and a host of other things which prevent the resolution of conflicts. Not that we should ignore what is right, or true, or our principles, but sometimes we have to look the other way if we want peace, peace of mind, and happiness.

Do you want to be right or happy? Sometimes we can’t have both. Going from memory, I think that I saw this thought expressed in one of Wayne Dyer’s books.

Even though I understand completely what my cousin told me, the family dispute remains unresolved. People have chosen sides and taken up positions, and this has complicated matters. However, negotiations are ongoing and I am confident that there will soon be an amicable resolution. I want it to happen, and it will.

It’s not a hill to die on. Wise words indeed.


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    • Ramsa1 profile image

      Ramsa1 5 years ago from A citizen of the World

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Debbie.

      All the best.


    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow your family does this too? lol great hub my friend

      I am sharing