principles: the perils and the ecstasy of clinging to your ideals

The way is light and fluid for the man with no preferences.
- Lao Tzu

Principles can wreak havoc in your life. When Galileo plea-bargained with the Catholics he let his values be publicly steamrolled. But secretly, he stayed anchored to his astronomical ideals (“Sure I’ll confess to heresy, just lock me up so I can get back to my white paper!) He played the system back.

Then we have guys like The Crucible’s John Proctor who let those “weighted with authority” push him to the brink of extreme choice: yes to our truth, means no to yours. John was unwilling to play along and the pilgrims hanged him. He stood his moral ground and left his wife a widow and his kids fatherless.

Saintly or stupido?


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