There is this old aphorism that various macho teenagers throw around with considerable bombast, and which I myself threw around back in the day, when I was young, dumb and full of come.
“I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”
Prudence gets such a bum rap in popular culture, but there is maturity in learning to play the game in such a way that you win the war, even if you concede some battles, and certainly avoid going out in a blaze of glory.
“It is better to live quietly for a cause than to die loudly for one.”*
Live on my knees? Hell yeah. Then, once the moment is right, I shuffle around at half-height, collecting the weapons of all the bravado-toting big-shots who died on their feet. Because that way, I arm myself to confront the enemy on my terms, when I’m ready, and when I do... I win.
*Paraphrased from Major Kusa Motoko, who was herself quoting J. D. Salinger.