AC Grayling is a UK-based academic and talking head on the idiot’s lantern. For a while he had a gig with the Guardian newspaper to produce “the Last Word” columns on things like frankness, reading and so on.
On July 15 2000, (1) a column on Compromise came out.
Grayling started it with a quote from Eddie Burke “Every human benefit, every virtue and every prudent act, is founded on compromise.”
After a string of platitudes and hand-waving, Grayling finished off with this –
“Most insidious of all compromise an individual makes with himself when ambitions begin to falter, and he begins to “accept his limitations” – a phrase that far more often denotes retreat and weariness in the face of failure than a just discernment of powers. Unamuno said that we are all potentially heroes and geniuses, if only we would have the courage and do the hard work necessary to becoming so. Perhaps – here finding the exception to Burke’s rule – the one compromise we should never make is with life.”
(1) I am having a weed/archive of various piles of paper. If you keep reading DT, you’ll see the results.