“I doubt very much that Hel raised you to be so inflexible.” – the ex
Compromise. It is the word of the modern world. Get along, play nice, compromise your beliefs, your feelings, your honor, so that everyone can get along. The onus is always on the person being talked to, rarely the person doing the talking. You have to give in, bend, let pass things those things that offend you for the sake of everyone else.
Compromise yourself, for the good of the collective.
But at what point do compromises become to much? At what point does giving in also mean giving up? How far can you bend before you break everything you stand for, and ultimately, destroy everything you held sacred?
One of the most influential stories of our time has to be Watchmen. It’s considered one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, and while not everyone loves the movie, everyone respects and admires the book. One of the characters in it, Rorschach, stands for law and justice and holds the view that one should never compromise in the face of evil, even in the face of Armageddon.
Because Justice, Good, Right, these are sacred things. And you cannot keep a thing sacred if you bend it, compromise it, or discard it because it is inconvenient, it hurts someone, or it is costly. Because if you do…more people will be harmed that if you did not compromise that sacred thing.
My ex has ever grown more furious with me over the situation involving my former brother. She’s called me petty, uncompromising, vindictive, all because I refused to let go a grave violation of the law, of the breaking of oaths and shaming to my Queen and our realm. My ex has even threatened to unmake me, if I continue to defame my former brother by speaking of his actions. But she paid the weregeld to let him return to the Nine Realms, from which he had been banished by Odin, Hel, and Freyr. Though she threatens my life…I find I cannot be silence. Freedom is sacred, and must be defended unto death. But as she has plead him guilty of all charges and paid the fines…words of truth cannot be defamation.
Am I inflexible? Perhaps, but the reason Hel and other Gods chose to lift me to where I am now is because of that inflexibility. Hel often points to the story of Enoch when she talks about why she has done to and for me what she has done. For those unfamiliar with the story, Enoch was a man who “walked with God” and did so in such complete faith that even before he died, Enoch was taken to the realm of the Hebrew God as a living being. A faith perfected, inflexible in what was sacred, but honoring all that was his divine. I don’t claim to be anything like that, I’m still fairly firmly stuck here on Midgard, but Hel has noted that in my time with the Norse, I have remained solid in my faith to the Norse, and to her in particular. It was part of how she shaped me, part of my inherent nature, and part of why she chose me for the duties she did.
Because some things are sacred. Oaths, promises, respect, the Law. To compromise one’s word, one’s bonds, is to make the value of your word and bond to be worthless. Though the legal troubles of my former brother now lie resolved with the payment of the weregeld…his honor is shattered. He has shown himself willing to break his word to kin and gods, and admitting guild and paying reparations only by proxy. Though the Nine realms may work with him in the future, there will forever be the onus upon his head. I, personally, shall have nothing to do with him if I can help it. Hel herself, holds much the same position. To expect someone to keep their word, to punish them when they do not, perhaps is petty and inflexible. But what then is the value of a persons word if they can break it freely and suffer nothing. With out a price to pay for failure, success has no true motivation. Honor, when compromised, means nothing.