Capitulation, as I am sure you will appreciate, is one of those words which, while not so much a “double-edged sword”, is nonetheless replete with both soft and sharp innuendo. It may suggest discreditable behaviour; or, it may suggest willingness to cooperate. Capitulation is not merely the action of surrendering. Significantly it is also ceasing to resist an opponent or demand. I further think it is fair to observe that most of us in this spicy affair called life have encountered both people and emotions which constitute opponents or demands. While it appears to infect the veneer to say as much, I believe there are times when ceasing to resist (or giving into) an opponent or demand is an intelligent choice. It is to my mind more favourable than the action of surrendering because the latter concedes defeat while the former invites community. And until they invent a better method of living than sociability, I’ll place my bets on “ceasing to resist” as a palatable capitulation. I feel it amounts to more than throwing in the towel when things become uncomfortable.
Sleep, clothing, water, food and shelter are about all we need to keep going. Everything else – though certainly not surplusage – is avoidable. Reminding oneself of what is needed to survive is by definition a reminder of what is not needed to survive. Perhaps you now see me leading up to that, “Don’t worry; be happy!” logo but I am not. As an acknowledged obsessive person (specifically one who is obsessed with detail) I shall always be inclined to excuse those who devote themselves unconditionally to unfolding the details surrounding a particular matter. For them, capitulation is not an option.
On the other hand – here comes the sweetness and light – the karat of the product is likewise often distinguished by what it is not. Like 24K gold without degrading impurities. Similarly if there is no compromise of irrelevancy, then surely winning the battle is best left to another game. So many of our thoughts – both kind or otherwise – really don’t matter to anyone other than ourselves. Yet convincing people of the utility of this so-called “compromising” conduct is not easy. And did I say, “people”? Well, yes, perhaps I meant people such as I. What in any event a horrible admission!
There is nonetheless an enduring audience for one’s thoughts; and, that naturally is oneself. Forgive the apologetic air! I simply hasten to revive the erstwhile allure of one’s thoughts by reigniting the conviction of belief; and, failing that, then the spark of amusement. Who is not familiar with the adage about learning to chuckle at oneself? Employing the dissolving element of that assertion enables one to stand aside, in full view of the commotion but without the pressing urgency for any other accomplishment. Tactically there might also be something worth noting; viz., the removal from the threat of regretful castigation. It is an undisputed feature of capitulation that it is so often acquainted with argument. Reigning in the overt obstruction by “ceasing to resist” is a small compliment if it otherwise merely enflames the situation.