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Obedience and Compromise

Obedience is the changing of our motives, deeds or thoughts in response to someone in higher authority than ourselves. Obedience does not mean agreement. It is a form of social influence whereby human beings demonstrate impressive implementation of authorities demands. Only the man who makes himself an island can escape this social influence, however difficult it is to be one. In this view, obedience commands submission.

Obedience is required if the society is to function. It however does not in this scenario have regard to morality but mainly focuses on submission. In this case, it makes the authority responsible for any outcome whether it is good or bad. We have been trained to practice obedience. It is simply how we are brought up as children submissive to the elder and when older other children submissive to ourselves. Nevertheless our obedience does not render us irrational beings; our minds and conscious judge commands before we submit ourselves to their implementation. We way the consequence to others and that to ourselves, it is that which we find to be more worthy to us that determines whether we obey or not. We must put our obedient nature to serve a moral and progressive course.

Civil obedience is not in real sense a form of obedience. It is more of an obligation, a commitment to do whatever it is we are told without questioning. Obedience on the other side is a virtue that one posses, a sign of respect and a tool to do what one agree with to be good.

The authority exploits the nature of man to be rational in obedience. As seen in the military where higher ranking soldiers can make lower ranking soldiers commit terrible acts without rebel, they must undergo a rigorous training whose primary purpose, although not directly indicated is to make the soldier abandon his personal morals. This is to make his obedience one of no hesitation. Obedience behavior is in most instances a matter of existence or termination.

It is easier to obey a dictator than it is to obey a peacemaker. This is because immoral actions are given negative consequences of disobedience whereas moral ones largely lack consequences.

We, as members of a moral society, ought to not only meet our needs but in so doing be aware of the needs of others that may be affected with our actions. We should seek to be an end and not a means. We ought to take initiative in bringing change other than consciously delegating the responsibility to posterity. We must be strong in defending humanity. We, therefore, should not surrender our bodies to service and our reasoning to rest but we need to submit the two together or withhold both. In obedience, we should also obey our knowledge.

On the other hand, compromise is putting aside differences upon reaching a mutual concession, a fifty fifty scenario or a merging of interests. Compromise has a positive connotation in that it is finding a common ground with a different person. It also has the negative aspect in that we are not true to our deep values.

Compromise can be viewed as the guide of social life. Without it we cannot exist in harmony and understanding with each other. We compromise every day, mostly in a bid to end the conflict and sometimes a bid to avoid it all together. The compromise, in this case, could be said to be good as it promotes peaceful coexistence. It can also be said to be bad as it betrays us of what we truly want to stand by. This raises the question: is compromise a virtue?

Yes, compromise is a virtue, when used to meet a meaningful end for the common good and sustenance of humanity and morality. Compromise as virtue is winning some and losing some. There is no harm in that; it makes life go on. No compromise is not a virtue when used to run away from our solemn believes that might be all together sane and moral in order to meet with other people whose beliefs we do not and dare not question. The aspect of compromise being a virtue deeply depends on what purpose it is being used to meet.

The very existence of a democracy is founded on compromise. Compromise constituting tolerance of diversity and agreeing at times to disagree or even agree. This forms the bedrock upon which some of the prosperity exists.

As we have mentioned before, compromise finds itself two aspects; a good and a bad one. In view of the relationship between our beliefs and compromise we create positive and negative compromise, the former being true to ourselves and the latter betraying ourselves. It is however unjust of us to say that in being true to ourselves we cannot consider the beliefs of others to be better or right as compared to our own.

It is not an unconditional obligation. Compromise is subject to the nature of man as a rational being with a free will to decide on what he deems most rational and moral. People have the right to choose whether to or whether not to engage in a compromise. It can never be that in all situations an agreement is met, as human beings, being diverse in thought and virtue we cannot always be in the same line of thought. However, if we choose to compromise we should do as unconditionally as we have taken the obligation to meet halfway.

We should be aware of the circumstances that demand that we compromise and those that do not. This is because at times we ought to everyone to say no and stand firmly by it. We choose what to identify ourselves with, we choose what is to be stood for and what is to watch fall. We should endeavor to reach good midway from both extremes if we are to compromise. When we seek to identify ourselves with a certain assertion then compromise is not up for consideration. The law of identity demonstrates binary thinking. It is a line of thought in parallel lines; never to meet. It is a matter of yes and no.

Compromise is a useful tool in conflict management. It is also a harmful tool that could be a mistake never to escape our memory. We should learn to know when we need to and when we need not compromise.

In conclusion, we cannot achieve everything on our own. We need solidarity, one that will take care of everyone. In this we need obedience and compromise as without them we will meet little end. Nevertheless, we should use them with rationality and sanctity.