If I am not careful, this could be the
week I decide the human race has gone to pot! I have
been dealing with an utter lack of integrity with business
people who promise things they know very well they
can’t deliver. Is everyone in society following
the role models of our leadership and deciding that
keeping your word is an outdated value? Or is it just
the real estate people, the appraisers, the contractors,
the printers, the engineers, the mechanics, the telephone
companies, the computer companies and - oh gosh - is
there any end to this list?
Even some of the clients who come into my office in incredible pain and anguish
that their relationships are not working leave with commitments to do the work
and then return, somehow never having found the time. How did our priorities
get so screwed up that it no longer matters that we don’t keep our word
or stand in our integrity about much of anything?
Integrity is very real and tangible. Integrity is measurable and embodies such
traits as: taking personal responsibility, keeping your word, being faithful
in the little things, being honest, standing your ground for what is right, maintaining
your honor and sense of virtue, being morally upright, making right choices and
doing what you say you will do.
Integrity is also something you cannot pretend to have. You either have it or
you don't, and life circumstances will ask that you prove that you have it. If
your core belief is one of integrity, your decisions will bear that out. If not,
that too will become evident.
Is there anything worth trading your integrity for, even if you stand to lose
finances, fame or friendships in the process? Whatever the price, integrity has
Webster's defines integrity as "soundness, unimpaired, firm adherence to
a code of moral or artistic values, incorruptibility." When you have a core
code of ethics built around integrity and a moral or ethical dilemma arises,
you must ask, "What is ethically and morally right and appropriate?" When
you don’t, you grieve your own spirit and whittle away at your self-esteem.
My favorite story about Gandhi is one in which a mother brings her child to him
from a long distance away and requests that Gandhi tell her child to stop eating
sugar. Gandhi sends the mother away and asks that she return later. The mother
does so somewhat disgruntled. She again takes this long trek, child in hand to
Gandhi and asks again, ”Please tell my child to stop eating sugar.” Again
Gandhi sends her away and tells her to return yet another time. This goes on.
The mother is becoming angrier with every visit. Finally, exasperated, she returns
for what she has decided will be the last time. This time Gandhi does as she
requested and he tells the child to stop eating sugar. The mother is outraged.
She demands of Gandhi “Why Mahatma did you make me return so many times
on this long, arduous journey until you finally told my child this thing?” Gandhi,
simply replied, “ I had not yet stopped eating sugar.” Neither have
It is interesting to me that the most valuable things in life are all things
we cannot see. Love. Integrity. Honesty. Intent. Every decision we make either
empowers us as spiritual human beings, or it moves us yet another step away from
our own mastery. Self-esteem, self-respect and self-love all come from inside,
not from the outside of us. No matter how much wealth we amass, no matter how
many cars we have in the garage, no matter what size our stock portfolio may
be, nothing about us will be remembered when we are gone except our level of
integrity. There is no greater religion than integrity. There is no greater thing
to which we should aspire than being a person of integrity – not in some
things, but in all things.
Everyday we are greeted with a multitude of probabilities and possibilities.
What might life be like if we each decided to chose that which makes us more,