Compromise is generally a good thing in business and in everyday life. Compromise is generally a bad thing when it involves things like hazmat suits or front lines.
Then there is the issue of morals.
First, I should point out that I firmly believe you must be willing to at least consider things that are contrary to or not accounted for in your moral code. Growth is not possible otherwise. We must evaluate new information and challenges and determine how they fit into what we understand about right and wrong. For example, a doctor knows that if she gives a patient a certain dosage of pain medication it will kill the patient. She believes that to be morally wrong. She gets a patient who is suffering a great deal. Anything less than a lethal dose will not help her. The doctor now must consider her moral choices to alleviate pain and to preserve life. One of them must be compromised.
Moral compromise, however, is not typically so stark. More often it is like the proverbial frog in a pan of water. The frog never notices the slow rise in temperature until it is too late. I don’t know if that is actually true about frogs, but it does seem to be with people.
Moral compromise tends to come out of competing desires or perceived goods (as with the treatment of pain v. the preserving of life) and occurs over the course of time. We hold two goods, let us say freedom v. security. We understand there is some trade off in these two things and we are alright with that. At stage one we see the value of both and if we were to look ahead to stage eight (hypothetical stages of course) we would be horrified at the unreasonable sacrifice of one or the other. Stage two, however, can be justified even if just temporarily. For the person who has progressed to stage seven, however, eight seems to be perfectly reasonable.
How do we arrest this progression? How do we stop the slippery slope?
We must always be willing to go back and look at first principles. Look at our bases of behavior. Reflect on what we hold to be good and see how it applies in this instance. We remove the situational elements and look at the most basic issues.
Ask yourself: Would the me from ten years ago do this or agree to this or put up with this? How about twenty years ago? Thirty?
There are lots of things that I support now that I would not have thirty years ago. (But I was also 17 thirty years ago, so that may not be a good example) However, looking at them I can see that my base values have not really changed. My understanding of how they are applied has radically. Still, I must occasionally stop myself and reflect: why am I doing this?
I was listening to a story this morning of a Christian man who wanted to serve people in a particular field. His ambitions to progress in the field have placed him in a situation where he must support statements and policies that are consistently contrary to his faith. I wonder what moral calculus he has done. When did something go from being outrageous to being simply distasteful?
What about you? Consider the choices you make. Where you shop. What you buy. Where you live. Who you support. Where your money goes. What you wear. For good or ill. Whether you are happy with it or not, but especially if you are someone what uncomfortable with some of the things you are willing to accept to get something else.
If an unexamined life is not worth living, an unexamined faith is not worth having.
Take a little bit of time and check the seals on that hazmat suit.