48 Laws of Power…Law 22: Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power.
When you are weak, never fight for honor’s sake; instead choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you-surrender first. By turning the other cheek, you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.
No life story epitomizes this Law of Power more than the story of Jesus. If ever anyone stooped to conquer, it had to be him.
In fact, the entire narrative about Jesus seemed to reinforce this law over and over, from the experiences documented in the bible, to the thrust of Christ’s teachings.
On several occasions, he was tested by the authorities and the non-converts, yet time and again his response was firm but non-confrontational. When he did confront his adversaries, he did it with wisdom and humility. These are 2 virtues which cost little yet call for the deepest sense of maturity in a man (or woman).
In the final days, when he was arrested in the company of his disciples, he had the option to fight and flee. This is especially so after Peter the disciple had drawn his sword and cut off the ear of one of the arresting soldiers.
Jesus the aggressive?
Let us consider for a minute what the history of the world would be like if Jesus had resisted arrest and fought off the Roman soldiers. Imagine if at the meeting with Pilate He had protested his arrest and demanded for his own release.
Would christianity have spread better if Jesus the icon of the religion was confrontational? It is unlike. Most of the more violent or more aggressive men of history did not survive beyond a few generations.
On the contrary a quick assessment of the major religions in the world – Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, all preach peace as their central messages.
Sadly, guardians of most of these faiths from Christian leaders in the middle ages to modern day muslims, have all used their religions as tools of violence and destruction to acquire political power.
Others have used religion to amass great wealth. They have bought power to influence the political class as well as the larger population.
As a result, neither modern Islam nor modern Christianity can boast of preaching true spirituality. True spirituality demands humility and a rejection of material wealth.
Let us amend the lesson from Law 22 for our use as entrepreneurs – When you are weaker than a competitor, don’t fight for honours’ sake. Surrender tactically and give yourself time to develop a competitive advantage. In other words, develop your own unique selling point.
Without this, it is pointless competing. To fight an obviously stronger opponent will only result in failure.
Final thought: as a small shopkeeper how would you challenge the arrival of a massive chain store in your neighbourhood?