In my last post I spoke about the pitfalls of compromise. In this post I will speak briefly about compromising from a position of strength."Be firm. Be virile. Be a man. And then... be a saint."-St. Josemaria Escriva
The only acceptable compromise is compromising from a position of strength, not weakness. So if you are giving the bully at school your lunch money just to stop making him beat you up, you are not compromising, you are losing since you are giving up your strength to appease the bully.
What about that abusive co worker or boss? It is not acceptable to compromise your dignity by putting up with daily abuse. Your duty is to stand up to them, defend yourself, and make it clear how unacceptable their behavior is.
Standing up for yourself does not mean getting into fights all the time. Their are different ways to manifest strength which don't necessarily mean gouging someone's eyes out. You need to be tactful and shrewd deciding what is the best time and way to attack. But the flip side is that if it is absolutely necessary you will fight with force if you have to.
What if you are a nation and another nation wants to wage war on you? Agreeing not to fight is not compromise; because by not fighting you are losing, since the other side will fight you regardless of your desire not to fight. Being nice does not guarantee you niceness from the other side.
In the spiritual life; what if you are told to something that goes against your beliefs? This is a tough one, because the lines between religion and our society are very blurred. The reality is that we are living in a post Christian society where basic religious practices are viewed as unimportant. Chances are that if you are practicing Christian your beliefs will be challenged. This happened to me not too long ago...
I was in a work situation where I was expected to work on Sundays. I understood this and I accepted that working a couple of Sundays would be OK. But, eventually over time I was scheduled to work every Sunday which prevented me from going to church. I told my boss numerous times but he didn't take my considerations seriously. I was at an impasse. I could compromise and continue working there by justifying that I needed the money or I could be bold and look for another job. Fortunately, overtime I chose the later and am working now for a company where I have Sundays off.
Compromise is compromise only when done from a position of strength. Evil despises true strength. But truth, through courage will always overcome evil. But these values are anathema to our society today. The word "compromise", is an idol of our times. We are taught not to make waves, not to stir the pot. We are told to shut up, to mind our business, to lay low, to compromise our deepest beliefs all in an effort to fit in. The cost of all this compromising is that we are precipitously sliding down the path of mediocrity and lukewarmness. We are becoming like everyone else, devoid of our God given individuality. God made us all unique, and nothing, not even our society should tell us else wise.