What is it?
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.
I want to take a moment to talk about something that's important to me. It's also something that has been on my mind a lot lately.
The best explanation I ever got for integrity was my sophomore year of high school. Perhaps over-simplified, it is doing what you say you are going to do. Or another I like? It's what you do when you think nobody is watching.
I strive to maintain my integrity. No doubt, I fail a lot. But it's NOT for lack of effort. And if I'm aware of the fact that I violated that integrity that I cling to, I'll be the first to admit it. Your reputation is something that is tightly woven with your integrity. To the extent that you actually have control over your reputation, you should protect it to the best of your ability.
Of course, things aren't always black and white. But for the most part, protecting my integrity includes the following:
- Doing the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do.
- Doing unto others as you have them do unto you.
- Following the rules.
- Paying your debts.
- Keeping the marriage vows I made on October 20, 2007.
- Not violating the marriage vows of another by encouraging (in any way) an affair.
Let me leave you with a story. It involves someone I know but I've changed names.
A friend of mine, Kerry, lost something of monetary value. The item she lost had her name on it. Another person, whom she does not know, found it. We'll call this person, Lucy. Lucy looked up Kerry's contact information via the Internet. Awesome, right? Technology is good for some things.
Lucy called Kerry and informed her that she found her things and wanted to know if she wanted them back. Of course, Kerry wanted her stuff back. It was valuable. The person then proceeded to suggest that many times when they find things like this the person offers a reward. Lucy even suggested a price for the reward. It was $50.
Now, Kerry was planning on rewarding the person for finding the stuff anyway. However, Lucy asking for this money walks a find line of extortion.
I ask Lucy...what if someone did that to you?
Please, people. I'm begging you. Treat each other the way you want to be treated. Everybody likes to talk about bullies. Where are our kids learning this behavior? It's from us.
It's the way we 'talk to people' when they cut us off in traffic (guilty). It's the way we treat the service industry workers when they don't have the ability to read our minds and ask a 'stupid' question. It's the way the Hobby Lobby worker asks Chloe 'Where are your socks?!?' without so much as acknowledging my presence. Yes, my friends. I believe that passive aggressive behavior (guilty) is bully behavior, too.
Be nice to people. Do what you say you're going to do. Help people out when you see they need it...if they don't ask, offer. The only way this world is going to get any better is if we/you make it better.
If you get really mad: Kill them with Kindness!