Don’t compromise on essential values just because other people might not understand you. Humans are highly capable creatures. We can do the most outrageous things if we want to. If someone doesn’t understand why you hold to your values then it is because that person is working hard at trying to not understand.
A competent teacher does not stop teaching a subject if the students do not understand; a competent teacher will teach the subject all the more!
Hopefully, you have already set out on some noble task—it could simply be your attempt to do something that has never been done before—it could be to do what no one from your neighborhood has never done before—it could be to shake your entire nation’s culture to end a dishonest routine. But, whatever noble thing you attempt, people whom you thought would never make a positive change in the world will soar with newfound powers to tell you that you’re wrong.
One of humanity’s great hidden strengths is our ability to wake from the deepest sleep just to tell someone to stop doing what is right.
People will drive miles, pay for expensive meals, use words they didn’t know they knew, step out into courageous situations that they have never stepped into before—all to convince you that you are so very, very selfish, unethical, and outright immoral—especially if you are trying to do something that they agree with.
“That can’t be done!” they will say. “We want to do it, but I always failed. It is therefore a crime against others to do this good thing that others reject.”
Society continues bad, dangerous, cruel practices because no one retraces the lines—no one stands for the right standard.
Every culture is made and every culture is remade by the troublemakers, the misfits, the malcontents, the discontents, the “unteachables”. Be that person. If you can get a thousand people to say you can’t, you might actually be on the right track. If ten thousand people say you shouldn’t, you’re surely dead on the money.
They’ll learn. Stand at your post. Show how it’s done. Make sure the culture has an example to watch.