January 19    

Today's quotation:

If you compromise with your own conscience, you will weaken your conscience.  Soon your conscience will fail to guide you and you will never have real wealth based on peace of mind.

Napoleon Hill

Today's Meditation:

There 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 the moment.

We 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.

Sometimes 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.

Most 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?

Questions to consider:

Have you ever acted in ways that went against your ethics or principles?  How did you feel?  How long did the feeling last?

Why isn't it always easy to follow our consciences completely?

Does our conscience always tell us the right things to do?  How do we know whether it's right or wrong in a given situation?

For further thought:

Peace of mind just can't be bought.  Trust me:  Even if your conscience doesn't stop you from playing dirty to get what you want, once you get it, it will keep you from enjoying it.  As my mother used to say, "A good conscience is God's eye."  Which is why I always prefer a loss to an underhanded gain; the one brings pain at the moment, the other for all time.

Patti LaBelle

more thoughts and ideas on compromise



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