"If you have the courage of your convictions, you are brave enough to do what you feel is right, despite any pressure for you to do something different." - UsingEnglish.com
Conviction as I am writing in this article is not about ‘faith’. For, I’m sure starting a discussion on faith is like stirring a hornet’s nest and setting off a pitched debate on religion, atheism and a host of related emotions in which it is difficult to get to the final word. It is also not about being ‘convicted’ by judicial system! Conviction as a subject in this article deals with a strong personal attribute. It is a firm belief in one’s value system. The emphasis I am about to dwell on in the succeeding paragraphs with emphasis on ‘courage’ to talk about ‘courage of conviction’ is to highlight it as a virtue in contrast with ‘compromise’.
We are induced to make compromises; we are called to make compromises, we are coerced sometimes and many a time we succumb on our own into compromising. I am not for moment trying to portray compromise in its negative interpretation and trying to eulogize conviction out of proportion.
Far too much is being compromised by individuals and collectively by society leading to monstrous instincts of a select few to usurp control far out of proportion to their true strength or capabilities. This is a sign of decay of values and of the socio-political fabric all over the world.
Let me start with an instance in the context of an organization with a few hundred individuals working for the furtherance of the primary objectives of the organization. Greed and over ambition for self gratification of a few individuals breeds the creation of a perverse but powerful vested interest. These individuals then hatch a grand undeclared scheme by which they begin stifling the voices of well meaning workers and humble them into work according to their whims & dictates contrary to working for set guidelines & holistic objectives for the development of the organization. Herein comes the choice before the large number of ‘others’ who are not part of the privileged group to choose between being committed to the value systems and organizational demands or succumbing to various tricks in the box of the caucus.
There are those early betrayers who tend to crawl if asked to bend or prostrate even before there is any hint of that. Then there are the undecided and ignorant lot who are perceived to be the gullible prey or the insecure mortals who have a very fragile self belief and will yield quite easily to allurements, intimidations and if a little more gritty, to threats and coercions. This group is quite low on losing the endowed comfort and hesitating to even to reflect for a moment if they possess some potential which might give them some confidence not to be intimidated. But they would be happy to take the path of least resistance and compromise without whine or whimper.
I jumped further description above to subject myself to proof that I talk about conviction & not compromise because I have not only strongly believed in it for a long time but also I have credentials to show if I were asked to. When confronted with the typical situation that I described above, I stood up and refused to toe the path laid out by coercion. I gave up a seat that scores of colleagues would envy & use their might to get into and settled for a low profile, less ‘lucrative’ other wing. This followed my unwillingness to go along with the powerful coterie, though I had enough overtures to suggest that it would ensure a financially rewarding career progression. I had the courage of conviction to refuse to be cowed down because I discarded the illusory & transient gratification opportunities.
It is my suggestion to every one to refuse to budge and display courage of conviction to thwart the machinations & evil designs of crooked manipulators lest such handful of evil men gloat over their illusory power to rule by inducements, enticements, intimidations and coercive practices.
At another level, even in our socio-political domain we see people reconciling and compromising with cruel & ugly maneuverings by the undeserving men and their honchos.
How do we display or practice courage of conviction? In my belief, it is through empowerment. By being knowledgeable, being strong willed through self confidence enhancing practices, of whatever belief or pursuit. Because whatever their posturing, the wrong doers & the evil intentioned can never have the moral temerity needed to sustain the rebuke from strong willed well meaning people of strong convictions. So have courage of conviction and do your best to annihilate the marauders who may be plotting all the time to destroy socio-political and economical order. Some setbacks and hardships will be endured but it does a lot of good for the humanity in the end.