is another side to the concept "compromise" than
the side we discussed yesterday. This is the side
that concerns what we do to ourselves when we compromise
things that rarely should be compromised, such as our
ethics, our values, our consciences. Compromising
such important aspects of who we are is a reflection of a
lack of trust in ourselves and what we feel to be true for
us in our lives. This compromise occurs when we do
something we "know" we shouldn't do; when we
find that wallet in the street with a couple hundred
dollars in it, we ought to make every effort to return it
to its owner, no matter how badly we might need money at
lose our peace of mind when we make such compromises
because we've created a lack of balance between what we
know we should do and what we've actually done. Our
minds are really good at keeping us focused on this
disparity, and it becomes very difficult for us to relax
and to be at peace. And while we may be able to make
amends and set things right later, the easiest way to
avoid the lack of peace is not to compromise our ethics or
our conscience in the first place.
it takes a lot of courage to follow the path we know to be
right. It may be necessary to end a relationship
rather than begin seeing someone else behind the back of a
significant other, but as hard as it is, being honest and
following our conscience is the best way to go in such a
situation. It may be difficult to leave a job
because of ethical problems, but it may be the most
important--and most positive--move we can make.
people who have lost peace of mind haven't lost it at
all--they've driven it out of their lives by acting in
ways that contradict what they know to be right.
They've treated people poorly or they've compromised their
principles, and they know in their minds that what they've
done isn't right. Then they have to live with that
lack of balance, and it's not an easy way to live.
After all, if we can't trust ourselves to do what we know
to be right, how can we expect others to trust us?