What can be respected?

What deserves our respect?

What is sacred?

And what are you unwilling to compromise?

The world is full of compromise

we are told to compromise

to get along in society

Every time

we do

we give something up.

We say

without saying

what I hold

can be given up.

What makes you an individual

is what you won’t compromise.

It could be your values

When the line is drawn

and you won’t cross it.

Your values

are your values.

If you won’t compromise

people will make fun of you

they will call you rigid and inflexible

they will say, “you are acting like a child; grow up!”

Every time

you compromise

your mind

for unworthy things

your time

for unworthy people

your body

for the office chair, unhealthy desserts, and lack of exercise

you are being molded

by something

that doesn’t care.

In a world

without honor

compromise

is understandable

a reputation is only social credibility

rather than

something one does not sin against.

It used to be

duels were fought to the death

over wounded honor.

People are better off

when they have honor.

They are willing to die for it

Otherwise,

they become machine-like

without identity

without anything

to stand for

slaves

for some larger, shapeless, whole

that sucks the souls of nobodies

until a hollow shell is left.

It would be better to die

than to be the dinner

for the great slug.

The world envies the individual.

If he or she is bought

he or she

is compromised.

Some individuals make money

but they would never trade

their craft, vision, or purpose

for something

lost, manufactured, or common.

What is special

is not found in the world—

it lives in you

until you kill it

with compromise.

You will always know

who does not compromise

they live in the world

but they are just passing through

they always make it better

just by being there.

Flowers are cut and sold

they are never the same in captivity

dying slowly

in a vase

so we can gaze at their protracted

beauty

Go up

on a hike in the blue mountains

where there’s green fields

and see the yellow flower

dancing in the wind

alive

the man or woman

who does not uproot themselves

is more beautiful

than this mountain flower.

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