On Relationships And Compromise

We should remain flexible in our attitudes, but not in our standards.

Compromise is a necessary facet of human existence.

No matter how strongly we believe something, if we want to get along with others, we will have to make concessions for the sake of our relationships.

An attitude of rigidity rarely serves the greater good as much as it serves our egos.

Inflexibility keeps us stuck in place, incapable of growing, changing, and evolving, while the world moves on around us.

For this reason, we must remain pliable.

We must remain open to new attitudes, ideas, and beliefs.

And, we must be willing to change our minds, our perspective, and our direction as need requires.

Our standards, however, the moral foundation upon which we stand and move, should never be compromised in the process.

Without standards, we risk being so flexible, so pliable, and so porous that we become something else altogether.

Without standards, we risk losing ourselves and becoming someone else entirely.

Relationships demand that we change, but we must also demand of ourselves that our integrity remains constant and uncompromised.

Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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