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Principles versus Compromise

Posted By: Randy GageOctober 7, 2010

We live in a very complex, fast-changing world.  The problems in the Middle East, terrorism, and human rights demonstrate some of today’s complexities.

New issues like cloning are continually coming forth, because of the rapid rise and development of technology.  This brings out new and complex political, philosophical, and intellectual dilemmas.

Politicians and society in general talk often of this increasing complexity, and you hear the word “compromise” a lot.  And THAT is the problem with the herd today.

They would have you believe that today’s world is now so complex that general principles no longer apply.  They argue that we must all compromise a little, so that everyone can benefit.  People use that word a lot with me as well, telling me that I need to compromise more.  I think I need to compromise less.

I believe that it is only your ability of forming principles that allows you to deal effectively and positively with the complexity of life today.  The rejection of principle in ethics, government and relationships is why the herd is sick, broke and unhappy.  Ethics and principles cannot be situational or they aren’t ethics and principles.

Give that some thought and share your thoughts below, then we’ll explore it some more on the next post.

-RG

32 comments on “Principles versus Compromise”

  1. I subscribe to http://www.reason.com a libertarian website, and this guy in a video yesterday said, no question the gov screwed up by lowering interest rates to 1%, but you can't sit around and blame the gov, your broker and guys like Jim Cramer.. he says those guys get paid to tell you lies... if you lost everything.. blame yourself, dust yourself off and get back at it...

  2. Randy,

    Compromise is a great word when there is a disput between spouses, but compromise of principals is not a good thing. The good Lord gave us a set of rules to go by. #1. Love the Lord with all your might, and soul. #2 Love your neighbor as yourself. We cannot compromise on those.

  3. Ethics and principles should certainly be held onto for as long as possible. They're our guideposts as to what will make us happy and allow us to best serve others. But - and this is a big but - if those ethics and principles don't serve us in our quests for prosperity, then we need to modify them.

    Sure, we need to see how the new issues of the day fit into our current sets of ethics and principles. But we must also not be afraid to modify those to help us attain the happiness and success we want.

  4. Hi Randy,

    Compromise is a tricky word. It carries the connotation of being flexible which isn't a bad thing but many use the idea of compromise as an excuse to be wishy-washy.

    As you note forming principles allows you to deal with present day complexities.

    RB

  5. One of the problems with Governments today is that some politicians have no integrity. Some of them will say anything to get elected even though it is untrue.

  6. Randy, thank you for continuing to speak the truth. I do worry that my team will see me as a lunatic but I'm so rooted in my principles of non aggression that I cannot hide it.

    The sad truth is that most people do not have principles of any kind. The herd has never taken a quiet moment to actually think about anything other than the chaos that is their daily lives.

    All it takes is a couple of questions for the average person to nose dive into cognitive dissonance, put their fingers in their ears, and shut down their minds completely.

    Randy, I think you'd enjoy http://freekeene.com/free-audiobook/ (free principled books) and http://freedomainradio.com (principled philosopher). I assume you're already a fan of the http://mises.org Mises Institute, yes?

    Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it. -- The Buddha on Belief, from the Kalama Sutta

  7. I agree with some of the other folks where compromise is concerned as it has much to do with the context it's used.

    However, if we do not live by any principles and compromise all the time, we have no stand. And if we have no stand for anything, we lack much of Who We Are.

    For those of us that have done work like Landmark Education, EST or other similar programs, it's crucial that we have a stand for something. This also demonstrates to the Universe Who We Are and the principles associated with it are our guide.

    I for one, will NOT compromise on Who I Am. If it doesn't work for someone, a company, etc. then it doesn't work. End of story. There's no compromising our own God given purpose.

  8. I so agree with you! I left a previous company because it became a contest how many principles and ethics they could violate! I felt sick inside a good part of the time. So I can totally relate.

    I am so glad that I came to the realization before it was too late that the principles and ethics I believed in were key to who I was, and to compromise that was a certain death of my character!

  9. Great topic, Randy. And timely. Situational principles: "I believe in religious freedom but we can't allow a mosque to be built next to the trade center." "I believe in right to life but executions are okay because they're bad people." "I hate big government and entitlement programs but don't touch my medicare and social security." "Drunk drivers should be arrested but it's okay for me to talk on my hand-held phone while driving."

  10. As we all know, but many do not heed...If you don't stand for something-you will FALL for anything...Ultimately LOVE is the answer.. thanks for loving us enough to share that brilliant mind of yours.... I Love You too !

  11. Beautifully written. Compromising ones convictions is one of the hardest things to resist. I personally seek out those that are unwilling to compromise.
    It is said n marriage there is compromise. In relational marketing there is compromise. I have found this type of compromise is not a compromise of principles, but a compromise of me being right or wrong, having the last word, or just showing off!
    Principles are kept sacred where my opinion, pride, ego, etc., can be crushed or ...compromised.
    Thanks RG!
    g

  12. Great topic. Couldn't agree with you more Randy that so much of society is commited to the belief that compromise is a necessity of life. If I am true to my values and integrity, then there is no room for compromise. I'm either right or I'm wrong I think compromise occurs when you don't steer your own ship and know where you are going and allow others to steer it for you. Compromise also doesn't allow for commitment. Yes should mean yes and no should mean no. When you go grey you pay.

  13. Hi,
    I agree that ethics and principles AKA truth should never be compromised. You can always tell when you are because I have gotten a sick feeling in my stomach. And not like the times I have been on the incredible hulk. (That is a ride in Universal, not South Beach,just so you should know, Randall)
    On the other hand I feel that in politics there are areas that we can disagree and can compromise. That means we each win a little and lose a little. My attorney friends, (Ok it's only one I was exaggerating a little) tell me in the best settlements no one is happy and everyone comes out a winner.

    I think that for too long now people can't compromise their ego. That means they love their church and they want to share it with you. Instead of just having the job to notify you of their joy, it becomes come to my church or I will never talk to you again. Believe what I believe or go to hell. (And no you don't get the $200.00 bucks first). I have a religion that says all religions should be allowed to exist and believe. And that is where I will leave it. I have notified you.
    Thanks Randy.
    Jim

  14. Kompromisszumot szerintem akkor kell hozni az embernek ha munkahelyen dolgozik. A munkatársakat nem lehet megválogatni, de a barátokat igen. Ha kompromisszunról van szó az valami megalkuvás , hogy kölcsönösen tartsuk magunkat az igérethez. Ha mindenki úgy tisztelné a másikat a világ minden területén, akkor ezt a szót nem is kellene használni !

  15. Well, it depends on whose principles you are talking about, when it comes about the principles of the leaders of my country (Iran) it gives them the right to arrest us, k i ll us in the streets,beat us harshly, to r t u re us and etc. because we are asking for our rights. They do whatever it takes to stop us because our right is not in their principles.

    And I think when it comes about politics you can not be so idealistic, being idealistic has nothing to do with it, when you are a politician you need to compromise sometimes, for your people good.

    We are facing difficulties for 3 decades because of wrong principles of my country's leaders. And I think in politics, even if your principles are true, you need to compromise sometimes. I mean, one specific issue has hundreds of aspects and you can not deal them all with your principles.

    P.S: I recommend you watch this video:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2010-nowruz-p

  16. Aren't disputes created because groups of people are so fixed on their set of principles being the one true set; automatically causing all others operating on different principles to be wrong? Aren't ethics & principles largely man-made and societal? In that way isn't it already situational? Your post raised some fascinating questions for me...I really don't know the answers since it's all based on perspectives...

    I like to keep it simple. The guiding principles that I strive not to compromise on are based on the fundamental & eternal values that bring out the best in humanity like i.e. love, truth & freedom. Teachers like yourself help to continuously clarify the signposts of this journey & I love you all for it. xoxo

  17. Love the topic, Randy. I too believe we have become too unprincipled in all aspects of our lives. I am NOT a believer in compromise and I believe it weakens us all when we use 'compromise' as an excuse to justify our actions. I'm actually pretty hard-lined when it comes to compromise vs. personal values. The people I train along with my 11 year old son are watching me and learning. Standing firm in personal belief is a MF sometimes, but I believe it's the way we live with ourselves when we look back at our life and examine the legacy we've left behind. Thanks again, Randy!

  18. Another Rat Abandons the Ship!

    While this forum is not overtly political, I think we're all keyed into certain changes that are rapidly occurring in our environment.

    We have another signpost today.

    The resignation of General Jones as Obama's National Security Advisor.

    Set to leave very quickly within the next two weeks, Jones' departure signals further deteriorization of the economical/political system.

    Obama is scheduled to be out of the country from November 8-12 period.

    Big Hint!

    The rest now sounds like "science fiction", but that's what we've been living in all along:

    The situation is complex. Illuminati trying to grasp control.

    Kuiper Belt forces are attempting to eliminate the Illuminati and assimilate Earth. The Draco Empire wants this solar system for their own purposes.

    Not to mention Interdimensional Beings and other galaxies interested in Earth.

    The plot thickens.

    So does your life.

    Do you want to sit here waiting for things to happen, or do you want to be proactive?

    Remove your victimization mind-patterns so none of this has to happen.

    You can change the outcome in a second.

    Is peace and happiness forever worth changing the way you think?

    I think so.

  19. Compromise creates resentment, not wanting to do something and then talking oneself into doing it, because of some 'greater good' - that does not work! Resentment creates much grater problems than sticking to one's principles. Now, if the principles are somewhat off, our life will show us and we'll need to shift them, but that is still not compromise...

    When I see situation, what might call for compromise, I recognize that it's not compromise that's needed, but another point of perception or notch up in awareness... that's it!

    Cheers
    Thanks Randy

  20. When one knows who they really are, there is no need for compromise. Being true to oneself is the greatest gift you can give yourself and to others as well.

    1. You're absolutely right. I can't agree with you more.
      When one knows who she/he is and being true to oneself, there is no need for compromise. That's right. As the author of this post says, I think I need to learn to compromise less.

  21. My thought:
    "The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours. But to win it requires total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man/women is sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence, which is man/women, for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of life and yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth." John Galt quote from Atlas Shrugged~Ayn Rand

  22. Compromise is a negotiation or a result of a negotiation between two or more parties.

    A *good* compromise leaves all parties in better stead, or becomes subjective when one of the parties thinks it is a good compromise whilst the other parties believe that the compromise was bad.

    The basis of judgement of whether a compromise is good or bad is whether it is principled, and principles derive from ethics. Oddly, Law is also supposed to derive from Ethics. The real issue in most 'compromises' we see in society is that negotiation is done by the Letter of Law instead of the underlying spirit of ethics.

    Just my 2 cents. Your mileage may vary.

  23. hmmmm.. Compromise or Principles, Having principles will set you apart from the herd..Living your life so that your are a reflection of those principles that takes guts..Having the ability to allow others to live their lives according to their principles, no matter how opposite they are from yours there is the kicker..

    I believe that compromise is the downfall of our society allowing children to move on in school so that we don't bruise their ego creates uneducated adults.

    Abortion, Pornography, Television, Speeding, Drunk driving, on and on and on.......

    With so many hot button issues, compromise always lead us down the road to nothing changing or getting fixed .

    Is their a way to change, yes. But it starts with another problem lack of Responsibility...

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  • 32 comments on “Principles versus Compromise”

    1. I subscribe to http://www.reason.com a libertarian website, and this guy in a video yesterday said, no question the gov screwed up by lowering interest rates to 1%, but you can't sit around and blame the gov, your broker and guys like Jim Cramer.. he says those guys get paid to tell you lies... if you lost everything.. blame yourself, dust yourself off and get back at it...

    2. Randy,

      Compromise is a great word when there is a disput between spouses, but compromise of principals is not a good thing. The good Lord gave us a set of rules to go by. #1. Love the Lord with all your might, and soul. #2 Love your neighbor as yourself. We cannot compromise on those.

    3. Ethics and principles should certainly be held onto for as long as possible. They're our guideposts as to what will make us happy and allow us to best serve others. But - and this is a big but - if those ethics and principles don't serve us in our quests for prosperity, then we need to modify them.

      Sure, we need to see how the new issues of the day fit into our current sets of ethics and principles. But we must also not be afraid to modify those to help us attain the happiness and success we want.

    4. Hi Randy,

      Compromise is a tricky word. It carries the connotation of being flexible which isn't a bad thing but many use the idea of compromise as an excuse to be wishy-washy.

      As you note forming principles allows you to deal with present day complexities.

      RB

    5. One of the problems with Governments today is that some politicians have no integrity. Some of them will say anything to get elected even though it is untrue.

    6. Randy, thank you for continuing to speak the truth. I do worry that my team will see me as a lunatic but I'm so rooted in my principles of non aggression that I cannot hide it.

      The sad truth is that most people do not have principles of any kind. The herd has never taken a quiet moment to actually think about anything other than the chaos that is their daily lives.

      All it takes is a couple of questions for the average person to nose dive into cognitive dissonance, put their fingers in their ears, and shut down their minds completely.

      Randy, I think you'd enjoy http://freekeene.com/free-audiobook/ (free principled books) and http://freedomainradio.com (principled philosopher). I assume you're already a fan of the http://mises.org Mises Institute, yes?

      Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men. Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it. -- The Buddha on Belief, from the Kalama Sutta

    7. I agree with some of the other folks where compromise is concerned as it has much to do with the context it's used.

      However, if we do not live by any principles and compromise all the time, we have no stand. And if we have no stand for anything, we lack much of Who We Are.

      For those of us that have done work like Landmark Education, EST or other similar programs, it's crucial that we have a stand for something. This also demonstrates to the Universe Who We Are and the principles associated with it are our guide.

      I for one, will NOT compromise on Who I Am. If it doesn't work for someone, a company, etc. then it doesn't work. End of story. There's no compromising our own God given purpose.

    8. I so agree with you! I left a previous company because it became a contest how many principles and ethics they could violate! I felt sick inside a good part of the time. So I can totally relate.

      I am so glad that I came to the realization before it was too late that the principles and ethics I believed in were key to who I was, and to compromise that was a certain death of my character!

    9. Great topic, Randy. And timely. Situational principles: "I believe in religious freedom but we can't allow a mosque to be built next to the trade center." "I believe in right to life but executions are okay because they're bad people." "I hate big government and entitlement programs but don't touch my medicare and social security." "Drunk drivers should be arrested but it's okay for me to talk on my hand-held phone while driving."

    10. As we all know, but many do not heed...If you don't stand for something-you will FALL for anything...Ultimately LOVE is the answer.. thanks for loving us enough to share that brilliant mind of yours.... I Love You too !

    11. Beautifully written. Compromising ones convictions is one of the hardest things to resist. I personally seek out those that are unwilling to compromise.
      It is said n marriage there is compromise. In relational marketing there is compromise. I have found this type of compromise is not a compromise of principles, but a compromise of me being right or wrong, having the last word, or just showing off!
      Principles are kept sacred where my opinion, pride, ego, etc., can be crushed or ...compromised.
      Thanks RG!
      g

    12. Great topic. Couldn't agree with you more Randy that so much of society is commited to the belief that compromise is a necessity of life. If I am true to my values and integrity, then there is no room for compromise. I'm either right or I'm wrong I think compromise occurs when you don't steer your own ship and know where you are going and allow others to steer it for you. Compromise also doesn't allow for commitment. Yes should mean yes and no should mean no. When you go grey you pay.

    13. Hi,
      I agree that ethics and principles AKA truth should never be compromised. You can always tell when you are because I have gotten a sick feeling in my stomach. And not like the times I have been on the incredible hulk. (That is a ride in Universal, not South Beach,just so you should know, Randall)
      On the other hand I feel that in politics there are areas that we can disagree and can compromise. That means we each win a little and lose a little. My attorney friends, (Ok it's only one I was exaggerating a little) tell me in the best settlements no one is happy and everyone comes out a winner.

      I think that for too long now people can't compromise their ego. That means they love their church and they want to share it with you. Instead of just having the job to notify you of their joy, it becomes come to my church or I will never talk to you again. Believe what I believe or go to hell. (And no you don't get the $200.00 bucks first). I have a religion that says all religions should be allowed to exist and believe. And that is where I will leave it. I have notified you.
      Thanks Randy.
      Jim

    14. Kompromisszumot szerintem akkor kell hozni az embernek ha munkahelyen dolgozik. A munkatársakat nem lehet megválogatni, de a barátokat igen. Ha kompromisszunról van szó az valami megalkuvás , hogy kölcsönösen tartsuk magunkat az igérethez. Ha mindenki úgy tisztelné a másikat a világ minden területén, akkor ezt a szót nem is kellene használni !

    15. Well, it depends on whose principles you are talking about, when it comes about the principles of the leaders of my country (Iran) it gives them the right to arrest us, k i ll us in the streets,beat us harshly, to r t u re us and etc. because we are asking for our rights. They do whatever it takes to stop us because our right is not in their principles.

      And I think when it comes about politics you can not be so idealistic, being idealistic has nothing to do with it, when you are a politician you need to compromise sometimes, for your people good.

      We are facing difficulties for 3 decades because of wrong principles of my country's leaders. And I think in politics, even if your principles are true, you need to compromise sometimes. I mean, one specific issue has hundreds of aspects and you can not deal them all with your principles.

      P.S: I recommend you watch this video:
      http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2010-nowruz-p

    16. Aren't disputes created because groups of people are so fixed on their set of principles being the one true set; automatically causing all others operating on different principles to be wrong? Aren't ethics & principles largely man-made and societal? In that way isn't it already situational? Your post raised some fascinating questions for me...I really don't know the answers since it's all based on perspectives...

      I like to keep it simple. The guiding principles that I strive not to compromise on are based on the fundamental & eternal values that bring out the best in humanity like i.e. love, truth & freedom. Teachers like yourself help to continuously clarify the signposts of this journey & I love you all for it. xoxo

    17. Love the topic, Randy. I too believe we have become too unprincipled in all aspects of our lives. I am NOT a believer in compromise and I believe it weakens us all when we use 'compromise' as an excuse to justify our actions. I'm actually pretty hard-lined when it comes to compromise vs. personal values. The people I train along with my 11 year old son are watching me and learning. Standing firm in personal belief is a MF sometimes, but I believe it's the way we live with ourselves when we look back at our life and examine the legacy we've left behind. Thanks again, Randy!

    18. Another Rat Abandons the Ship!

      While this forum is not overtly political, I think we're all keyed into certain changes that are rapidly occurring in our environment.

      We have another signpost today.

      The resignation of General Jones as Obama's National Security Advisor.

      Set to leave very quickly within the next two weeks, Jones' departure signals further deteriorization of the economical/political system.

      Obama is scheduled to be out of the country from November 8-12 period.

      Big Hint!

      The rest now sounds like "science fiction", but that's what we've been living in all along:

      The situation is complex. Illuminati trying to grasp control.

      Kuiper Belt forces are attempting to eliminate the Illuminati and assimilate Earth. The Draco Empire wants this solar system for their own purposes.

      Not to mention Interdimensional Beings and other galaxies interested in Earth.

      The plot thickens.

      So does your life.

      Do you want to sit here waiting for things to happen, or do you want to be proactive?

      Remove your victimization mind-patterns so none of this has to happen.

      You can change the outcome in a second.

      Is peace and happiness forever worth changing the way you think?

      I think so.

    19. Compromise creates resentment, not wanting to do something and then talking oneself into doing it, because of some 'greater good' - that does not work! Resentment creates much grater problems than sticking to one's principles. Now, if the principles are somewhat off, our life will show us and we'll need to shift them, but that is still not compromise...

      When I see situation, what might call for compromise, I recognize that it's not compromise that's needed, but another point of perception or notch up in awareness... that's it!

      Cheers
      Thanks Randy

    20. When one knows who they really are, there is no need for compromise. Being true to oneself is the greatest gift you can give yourself and to others as well.

      1. You're absolutely right. I can't agree with you more.
        When one knows who she/he is and being true to oneself, there is no need for compromise. That's right. As the author of this post says, I think I need to learn to compromise less.

    21. My thought:
      "The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours. But to win it requires total dedication and a total break with the world of your past, with the doctrine that man/women is sacrificial animal who exists for the pleasure of others. Fight for the value of your person. Fight for the virtue of your pride. Fight for the essence, which is man/women, for his sovereign rational mind. Fight with the radiant certainty and the absolute rectitude of knowing that yours is the morality of life and yours is the battle for any achievement, any value, any grandeur, any goodness, any joy that has ever existed on this earth." John Galt quote from Atlas Shrugged~Ayn Rand

    22. Compromise is a negotiation or a result of a negotiation between two or more parties.

      A *good* compromise leaves all parties in better stead, or becomes subjective when one of the parties thinks it is a good compromise whilst the other parties believe that the compromise was bad.

      The basis of judgement of whether a compromise is good or bad is whether it is principled, and principles derive from ethics. Oddly, Law is also supposed to derive from Ethics. The real issue in most 'compromises' we see in society is that negotiation is done by the Letter of Law instead of the underlying spirit of ethics.

      Just my 2 cents. Your mileage may vary.

    23. hmmmm.. Compromise or Principles, Having principles will set you apart from the herd..Living your life so that your are a reflection of those principles that takes guts..Having the ability to allow others to live their lives according to their principles, no matter how opposite they are from yours there is the kicker..

      I believe that compromise is the downfall of our society allowing children to move on in school so that we don't bruise their ego creates uneducated adults.

      Abortion, Pornography, Television, Speeding, Drunk driving, on and on and on.......

      With so many hot button issues, compromise always lead us down the road to nothing changing or getting fixed .

      Is their a way to change, yes. But it starts with another problem lack of Responsibility...

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