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the Roaring Ellie

The word for today is Integrity!

This morning, I went to google and typed in: Define Integrity. This is what came up:

  • the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. “he is known to be a man of integrity”
  • the state of being whole and undivided. “upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”

I find it quite interesting in noting the two examples given. One talks about being honest and the next talks about being whole and undivided. Hmm.
The next speaks to wholeness, as in the structural integrity of the house is in question. Which basically means the house could fall apart.

The next speaks to wholeness, as in the structural integrity of the house is in question. Which basically means the house could fall apart.

Neither of these cases result instantaneously. Rather, they occur because of a gradual decline either in principle, in attitude, or in standard. If builders ignore building codes and simple adhere to what they were before we knew the things we know now, the “integrity” of buildings will be questionable if not dangerous. We use much more electricity (due to all of the electronics in our lives) and draw much more power. Anyone who has ever purchased a much older home knows this. The electric must be upgraded for you to live as you do now. Likewise, if our personal integrity declines, society (not just us personally) will see a downturn in overall cohesiveness.

The problem arises in a very subtle manner. We are all stretched financially (and I’m speaking about the average person in the United States). Those who have been stretched and have managed to climb above the stress to a ‘comfortable level’ remember that stress and err on the side of caution (usually) to ensure they do not fall victim to that stress again. Others are simply unable to beat the treadmill effect and remain in constant strife. So, when given the opportunity – any opportunity to get ahead, we take it. The cashier in the store gave me too much change. I know, but I keep it anyway. I didn’t steal it. I didn’t cause it. I just “deserve” it. It’s their fault, not mine. The mentality that creeps in our minds at that moment is “Hey, I just won.” The question is what did you win? And what did it cost someone else?

So you end up with an extra $20 in your change. Woohoo! The cashier, on the other hand, is now going to come up short at the end of his/her shift. Possible outcomes of this are having to make up that shortage out of his/her own paycheck, suspension, or even loss of the job. You won! But they lost!

If you return the $20, you lose nothing. The cashier, conversely – gains because they do not sustain a loss. So by your own ‘integrity’ you manage to elevate someone whom you would have otherwise trampled for the split second experience of having ‘gotten over’. Nothing is free! Nothing! 

As I look around the world, I find that problems arise when we do not proceed from a position of integrity. If you don’t think so, imagine you have lost your purse or your wallet. Then picture the SHOCK you will feel if someone were to return it. The assumption is you will never see it again. Why? Because of the lack of integrity. 

We are in a society of our own making. That society is largely comprised of people craving instant gratification. It becomes almost as much a contest as it does an addiction. I want more. I need more. I don’t care about anyone else. I’m worried about myself. If we look at what our primary concerns are, I believe we will find that our focus is on ourselves; our families, possibly our friends and neighbors. But, if we don’t know you – you don’t matter.

What we must come to terms with is that EVERYBODY MATTERS! I suspect people have heard the expression, “If they can do it to them, they can do it to you.” I have heard that many times in the workplace setting. One employee seems to get the short end of the deal. It’s not something that is happening to them because they are losers. That’s everyone’s warning shot across the bow. The tendency is we hunker down, don’t look up and hope (as well as assume) this is something that is happening to them – not us.

THEY ARE US!!!!!

Treat others as you would want to be treated. I am challenging everyone (including myself) to literally treat others as you would want to be treated. Make a conscious effort every morning when you get out of bed. Write a note to yourself on your bathroom mirror. Put a reminder on your phone. Do whatever you need to do to put “integrity” in the forefront of your thoughts. What you will find is that others will benefit from your good judgement, and you will win back your integrity….one good deed at a time! Everybody wins!!!

The Roaring Ellie

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