To make sure that we are on the same page I would like to present the following found on Wikipedia.
Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions.
One can test a value system’s integrity either subjectively, by a person’s individual measures, or objectively, via various scientific methods or standardized mathematical procedures.
A Good Base
Most of us grew up in a society where parents, grandparents, teachers, friends and other interested parties all contribute (continuously – throughout your life) to “make you a better person”. To achieve this goal, we all adhere to rules that are religiously, socially or morally deemed to be acceptable or “pure”.
The most startling discovery I made during the festive season is that we sometimes neglect being honest with ourselves.
We seem to get wrapped up in so many things that we lose touch with “reality”; we are caught in patterns that are negative to our own person, and because these patterns have developed over a period of time, we seem to overlook some of the consequences.
The only explanation I can find for this resides in the story about how one boils a frog: If you heat the water and then the frog is placed inside, it will simply jump out. However, if you place the frog in cold water and heat it slowly, it will just sit there until the water is boiling hot and it does not jump out.
I think that we sometimes become complacent, trust easily (which is supposed to be a good character trait) and then end up being boiled alive or at least scorched.
What should we do?
This is where the measurement element comes in (second portion of Wikipedia quote – above).
- Have a set of criteria which should apply to yourself (I will get out if the water exceeds a specific temperature).
- Test regularly (water can heat up fast sometimes).
- Have a specific response ready when the decision point arrives (get out OR stay)
- Consider yourself worthy of being first in your life (if there are other frogs, you can still warn them when you are in a position of safety)
- Accept the consequences of your actions (Sitting in still rapidly heating water is not someone else’s fault)
- Change what needs to change with permanence in mind (moving to a colder spot does not solve the problem)
- Adjust your measurement criteria to prevent reoccurrence (frog that lives close to a frog boiling facility will be in hot water often – Wow, almost Confucius like)
So what do we have to gain / lose?
Well I have discovered that this can be significant. If left unchecked, you can lose yourself, integrity, respect, self-image and a lot of other things in such a process. By taking a firm stance, you seem to gain immediately in terms of self-respect. The consequences of inaction can be HUGE.
How do we do it?
The heading of this post contains the answer. Upon discovery of a scorched frog, you should still conduct yourself in a respectable manner. Do what you have to to overcome the situation, but please do not get vindictive, nasty or anything else that you would regret later.
- Allow yourself to heal
- Allow the anger, disappointment, frustration and other like emotions to pass
- Accept that not all of the effects of the changes you make will be desirable, appreciated or even supported
- Talk to the ones that count in your life
- REMEMBER – Those that mind don’t matter and those that matter won’t mind.
- You are IMPORTANT here – it’s your frog getting boiled
- Take the learning that comes with the hurt
The most important things that we have to consider:
Am I treating myself with Honesty, Sincerity and Integrity?
Am I doing things that would make my mother proud?