Updated March 16, 2021

Standing on Principle

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From The Experts

Standing on Principle Blog Post

Whether it’s in politics, business, marriage or divorce, there are times and circumstances where it’s important to stand on principle.


“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”


—  Winston Churchill


Yet being “dead right” is still being dead.


He that fights and runs away, may turn and fight another day; but he that is in battle slain, will never rise to fight again.


—  Tacitus


In the words of Dan Waldschmidt in an article titled “The Danger of Being Dead Right”, we read the following:


You can win. You can be right.


But you can die trying. And then it doesn’t really matter anymore, does it?


Sure you can play the martyr card. But you only have one of those. And it costs a lot. So you might want to be careful.


Heck, you might want to make sure you are fighting over the right thing.


Being right isn’t good enough.


First off, how do you even know that you are right?  Think about that for a minute. Have you ever changed your mind?  Have you been in a position where you changed your opinion — where you got new information that made you question your beliefs?


Probably a number of times, right?


So the problem with “being right” is that you might not even be right in the first place. But that’s not enough. Because you’ll always believe that you are right, you’ll probably fight to win at any cost to prove that you are right.


That’s where things go sideways.


You find out that winning isn’t as glorious as you imagined. In fact, it comes with a high price. Instead of gaining respect and appreciation and support, you end up with bitterness and resentment from those around you.


People don’t like you. And it’s your fault. You are running over them with your steamroller of beliefs. Which means you aren’t persuading, you are just bullying.


And what’s sad is that you might actually be right.


But you’re dead right.


You might end up interpreting the facts the best, but you can hardly call yourself “right” when you are creating chaos and misery and confusion and fear. How can that be “right”?


From time to time you have to look at your strategy, for business and life, and be honest about the potential damage that you might be causing. You have to look at yourself. Is this a battle that you want to keep fighting?


Is it worth being right if you end up dead right?


OurDivorce will never ask you to compromise your principles, but to compromise as pragmatism dictates to resolve issues expeditiously, inexpensively, and sanely.

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