Your values, ethics, personal standards—the moral code by which you live your life—must never be for sale.
If you decide that you should improve your morals and standards, that may or may not be necessary, and that is a different discussion altogether. But, when the cost of keeping your moral code becomes high, you will discover whether you have a price tag on your forehead announcing for how much you can be purchased.
Keeping one’s moral code includes personal dignity, but not only. To sell-out ones morals is more than about dignity, it’s about the foundation of good judgment, wisdom, and the conscientious compass by which decisions are oriented.
There is something magical about holding to one’s ethical code. It solidifies behavior, reliability, methodology, and character. In some way, people will be able to predict your actions, which isn’t always preferable. But, in other, more important ways, keeping your moral code will make it impossible for corrupt people to ever understand you, let alone predict you.
If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. But, if you stand for something, someone else will come riding along in white night to bring you aid that wouldn’t have been possible had you not stayed and made your stand.
There was a tale of Christians escaping persecution from China’s secular government. Two Chinese policemen stopped them and asked if they were Christian. “Yes,” they said honestly. “Good,” the two policemen replied, “We’re coming with you and we will help you because we want to get out of here ourselves.”
When you know that you are not alone—that there are other people in the ecosystem of humanity—that you depend on others and that others depend on you—that what you do can have serious effect on others, for better or worse—you will more easily make your stand and keep your watch.
The big picture is vital, but with a moral code we only need to know that morals belong to the big picture. If you maintain a moral code from above and you keep that code, you don’t need to know the specific plans of others, yet you will help others without knowing.