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Monday, August 11, 2014

A Man of Principle?--Not So Much

How do you decide when you should bend for the sake of others, and when you should stand for your principles? (Serendipity Bible 1998, page 1555).

I am not a man of principle so much as a man of tone. No matter what can be enunciated verbally as principle, if the tone is not right – in some sense bizarre – I then do not act on principle but prefer responding to the nonverbal chiaroscuro of tone.

Let me give an example. On principle, a man should not make egregiously risky loans.  However there have been times when I have made them anyway because to abide by principle would have seemed not right--there was a nonverbal tonality that took precedence over rationality. Another case can be when "good advice" is being meted out but in a tone that reflects insufferable self-righteousness and lack of compassion. Clearly tone trumps strictly principled verbal sense by leagues and bounds.  The same violation of compassionate atmospherics can occur in a business setting when an employee is being "counseled for their own good" but it is clear that intimidation is the real intent accentuated by structural power configurations of furniture, violations of attendee proportionality, and the like.

It is because of this that I have in time grown suspicious of principle and opt for a loving, synchronous tonality.

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