Monday, July 13, 2020

The True Meaning of Surrender

To “surrender” means “to cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.” Synonyms include give in, yield, concede, submit, give way, defer, and back down.

Indeed, there are other definitions. But this one comes up on top in my search results.

When you surrender in this sense of the term you stop doing whatever you were doing, as you no longer can do it. Because if you do there will be negative consequences, and you’ve decided you no longer want to face them.

Then what? If you take the definition literally, you may tend to sit back. You allow something or someone other than yourself to be in charge. That can lead to a passivity, and with it a relinquishing of responsibility. You get lazy, even soft; why do you need to do anything seeing that after surrendering you’ve no longer in control?

No wonder surrender has a poor reputation. Because giving up control and responsibility reflects poorly on us, right? It suggests we’re weak, irresponsible, and at the mercy of others.

But surrender is a positive. It shows courage. It’s often easier to “go along to get along” than to do something different. Because to surrender means you change direction. You give up AND you get going in a different way. To that end, surrender demands constant action in support of the change. In other words, if you’ve given up something you’ve taken up something else. That “something else” needs reinforcement to enable it flourish in your life.

To surrender is necessary to improve and realize one’s potential. Don’t let the definition of the term, or its reputation, obscure that very important point.

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