Never Compromise

ktadmin Post in A Zen Thing, Quotes, State of Mind
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In her book, entitled Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, Ayn Rand wrote, “In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.” In a compromise between life and death, freedom and slavery, good and evil, only the latter group can win. [Source]

I’ve been thinking about this topic for some time but when I saw the above passage the topic crystallized for me.  We live in a world of constant compromise.  Compromise is an important part of life as it helps us deal with others but is there such a thing as to much compromise?  Of course.  Compromising about what is for dinner or where we go on vacation are normal compromises.  But what happens when a situation or person requires you to compromise on your basic principles?

Hopefully you have formed basic principles before being asked to compromise it, though my experience has been, that most people do not form their principles until faced with a situation.  This of course usually leads to the path of least resistance where people end up standing on and defending principles or beliefs they have never truly contemplated.  They defend these positions militantly as to do otherwise would mean they were somehow wrong.  People avoid dealing with the uncomfortable which is the tool most employed by those seeking a compromise!  Discomfort is the primary tool of peer-pressure one of the most dangerous forms of compromise.  Peer-pressure usually moves a child or teen or even adult to act against the basic principles (or morals) of their families.

As a martial artist it is important that we introspect and determine who we are and what we stand for, only then can we stand with a quiet mind in the face of adversity.  As martial arts instructors we must help our students see that compromise of basic principles without serious consideration is a negative for it often leads to the wrong path.  Basically we want our youth to stand on a strong foundation so when faced with choice they are certain of what is the right path.  Someone once said, “Everyone knows what is right from what is wrong”  the problem is doing what is right is hard it is much easier to lie to ourselves or blame others for our choices.

There is nothing wrong with understanding your beliefs and principles and standing by them, in fact that is a quality to be admired.  One must also make sure their understanding is based on a solid foundation.  To often our youth choose the wrong path in life, whether it is drugs, promiscuity or delinquent behavior, simply because no one has helped them understand their actions, or even served as a proper role model.  The hardest part to teach is that often standing on your principles and against compromise is never easy, popular or outwardly rewarding.  But there is something to be said for leaving a room with your chin up knowing you faced compromise in the eyes and held your ground.  Remember you no one wants to be caught in a compromising situation!

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