Resistance is futile. That’s a phrase known to most everyone, Trekkie or not. However, resistance sure beats being assimilated by the Borg without even trying to save one’s self! Resisting with all one has is heroic; it would be cowardly, even suicidal to just roll over and allow an enemy to have his way with you. In the real, nonfictional world, La Résistance were the good guys who fought for freedom against Nazi Germany. Mahatma Gandi taught his followers the powerful use of passive resistance. Everyone knows you’re supposed to resist temptation. Therefore, resistance is good. It would then follow that surrender is bad. It’s raising the white flag, giving up, giving in; throwing in the towel. Surrender is synonymous with defeat.
But let’s back up for a minute. There are times when resistance can be a bad thing. A well-oiled engine is free from resistance and therefore runs as it should with minimal wear. Muscles that hold too much resistance for too long will spasm and weaken. Workouts must be balanced with rest and relaxation. If a person wants to bring love into their life, they must let down their guard, e.g., resistance to meeting a potential partner.
There are times when surrender can be a good and necessary thing. Surrendering to one’s feelings is emotional honesty. When grieving a loss, it’s an important step towards healing to admit, allow, and surrender to the torrent of cleansing tears that need to move through. Anger is another force that should not be resisted, that is, bottled up. Rather, it needs to be released or at the very least, channeled safely.
Surrender can mean letting go of people or things that are no longer appropriate. It’s the opposite of trying to control the situation. Let’s face it, there are things that are simply beyond our control—death being the final one. It will eventually get us all in the end, kicking and screaming or otherwise. When control is not feasible and it’s time to let go, that is when resistance is futile. Surrender becomes the ultimate freedom.
Bottom line, whether it’s wise to resist or to let go all depends upon the circumstances. Like the lyrics of the old Gambler’s song: “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em…” That means resisting when it’s necessary or beneficial, surrendering and letting go when it’s not.
P.S. I bet you’ve got the Gambler melody going through your mind now. Sorry for the earworm!