Restoring Integrity

July 17, 2012 by  
Filed under New Posts

 

Integrity Begins at Home

by Nedda Wittels
© July 17, 2012

While some people might claim that the reason integrity is at an all-time low in the US goes back to Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal, I beg to differ with that perspective.

Issues of integrity go much further back than Nixon, who did us all the favor of bringing them into our consciousness, out of the murk of secrecy.  Even so, for many people today, as we watch and hear about more and more lies, cheating, and economic manipulation in government, banks, corporations, and around the world, we are quick to assign lack of integrity to others.

As with most things, integrity begins at home – inside you and inside me.  If I don’t have integrity, how can I expect to find it in the world outside myself, as that world is only a reflection of my inner space.  So I have to go within and ask myself, “Do I have integrity?”

And I have to ask myself yet another question:  “If I’m experiencing lack of integrity outside myself, where is integrity lacking inside myself that is drawing these situations into my life?”

Dictionaries are not much help when we want to understand what integrity is.  “Adhering to a moral code” doesn’t tell us anything about that code, and for so many today, the code of choice seems to follow these rules:

  1. Me first – take care of myself above all others, and my family ahead of everyone else.
  2. Do it to “them” before “they” can do it to you.
  3. As long as I can get away with it, it’s OK to lie, cheat, steal, and even kill, and especially if others are also doing these things.

There are plenty of people who live by such a code, although they might not admit it to themselves nor to anyone else.  I would argue that integrity has nothing to do with this type of thinking.

Integrity has to do with honor, with honesty, and with knowing who you are and living your truth.  So if you don’t have a code of honor, if you’re not honest with yourself, and if you don’t know who you are or what you believe, you can’t possibly have integrity.

Integrity means not allowing someone else to control your thoughts or feelings by using fear or anything else to manipulate you.   This means that to have integrity you must learn how to find your inner courage and how to use it to move through fear and to reject all attempts at manipulation by those who feed off fear.

Integrity means following through on your commitments and committing yourself to the highest good for all concerned in any and every situation.  This mean finding the win/win in every situation, whether personal, romantic, family, social, business, or elsewhere.

If you’re in business, stand by your service or product.  Treat your customers with respect.  “The customer is always right” is a good maxim to start with.

At work, do the best job you can, even if you have issues with your work circumstances – even if you are washing dishes or floors, for example.

In relationships, having open and clear communication about feelings, interactions, and intentions will assist in maintaining a high level of integrity.  It will also make for a much better and happier relationship.

Quality is essential in having integrity.  Look for the best in people and you will find it.  Expect the best of yourself, too!!  You will draw to yourself people whose integrity levels match your own.

And this is how we change the world.  We begin with ourselves.  We look inside and get to know ourselves.  We set a high standard within and then we live by that standard.  Only then can we expect integrity elsewhere.