My son Kyle grew up getting what he wants. Not because he is a spoiled brat. He knows the perimeters of his limitation.
He learned that he can pick up all the fruits that he wants for as long as he is under the same tree. Going farther, he knows it’s always a “No, no”.
We taught him that life has non-negotiated principles. Of love, we can adjust; of forgiveness, we are open; of reasons, we listen; of care, we are responsible.
But there are things that we cant simply discuss at the negotiating table.
At times when life is sinking, the decision to abandon ship defies any rule, nobility, or royalty. The non-negotiated demand for obedience spells the difference between life and death.
Truth is a non-negotiated principle. Even a slightest scratch will crumple its magisterial beauty into ruins of lies. Tainted truth is not truth at all.
Time is a non-negotiated principle. It is a life’s commodity more precious than gold or diamond. The utmost expression of respect to someone is the respect of time.
Testimony, the veracity of the message that you convey to others, is non-negotiated. It must be able to withstand the test of honesty and sincerity, free from malice and personal interest.
But each of us, depending on our backgrounds, has unique non-negotiated beliefs. What mine may not be yours. But our respect and discipline toward them define how society treats us.
The more tolerance you are on these non-negotiated principles, the less respect you get from people.
For example, the more tolerance you are on time, the less people will observe your deadlines. The more you defy the sanctity of truth, the less trust you get from other people.
As he grow up, I taught my son of these things and to build himself behind these fortresses. To live with his loyalty on the truth, awareness of time, and chastity of his testimony.
These principles are our imaginary walls that protect what’s left to us when everything else are laid in the open. These may cost pains, break friends, or fail plans. But these are the final fortress that protects the chastity of self-respect.