Equivalent to having both a backbone and a beating heart – integral to life itself, you couldn’t thrive without integrity.
I don’t know if integrity is obsolete – but it might be going extinct, to be put alongside rare birds and critters on some ‘endangered lists’ because it is looking more and more like a relic of a more genteel past.
Wasn’t integrity assumed?
In our immediacy driven connected world, we’ve lost trust. We can’t trust blindly like we used to.
Integrity seems to be ‘missing in action’, more elusive than ever. We’ve sacrificed our ‘doing due-diligence’ to confirm integrity in favour of point/click speed and efficiency.
This is speedy – great if what you found online is true – and it sucks when it is false. Consider Volkswagen, Wells Fargo, Donald Trump et al, Enron, Facebook, Lehman Brothers, Countrywide, Worldcom, Tyco, Bernie Madoff, Qwest, big tobacco – this list could be endless.
To me, it connotes ‘without deception in intent and actions’. Tricking people for profit or personal gain is supposed to earn a spanking for children and jail time for grownups. Sadly, in the corporate world it comes with fines, settlements and class-action lawsuits. Seems more like a speeding ticket …
Each time we meet someone new, encounter a business opportunity we might get into, each time some organization large or small seeks our involvement, our patronage or our vote – should we assume they are operating out of integrity?
I don’t mean blindly expecting, or assuming it is automatic.
I take new folks ‘at face value’ ~ watch and wait, see if they live up to their billing. I’m questioning whether we should expect them to live up to what they say/imply/promise or to some other standard, such as our own?
If I meet you and you promise nothing, I should have no expectations. But, if you engage with me as friend, colleague or customer – I do have expectations around authenticity of what you say, that what you promise is genuine and that you live up to your promises.
That, in my book, is living a life of integrity.
It goes both ways of course, we all want reciprocity in relationships.
I’ve had several situations recently – people weren’t breaking promises but they weren’t living up to their espoused standard – not operating as promised. One person is out of my life, one company I’ve disconnected from, and another I’m ‘in the process of moving to another supplier’. Sometimes we can make changes immediately, sometimes it takes longer – but when we know, that feeling, that ah+ha, we know it in an instant don’t we? Like an electric shock – gasp of surprise – someone did (or didn’t) do something, said (or failed to) say something.
We used to notice these incongruities – and now we miss them in mind numbing noise …
Hi Mark, I don’t read all of your musings, but sometimes do. This one caught my attention because I was curious to see what your greatest fear would be. I have to admit, I am not sure if I share your greatest fear. I guess my thought is that, generally, we make the decisions we make with all the information that we have at the time we make that decision, and that information will always be imperfect (situations change, we don’t have all the information, we get new information or information may be wrong). So our decisions are always the best decision we can make at the time because they are based on this information that we have at the time we make the decision. And if information changes, and this changes what our decision should be, we just make a new decision - we have no choice, we have to make the new decision. Perhaps this helps (and perhaps not), but for me, it enables me to move on from a decision, and accept it, and try to make it the best decision until circumstances change. I suppose it allows you to stop some of the “what ifs”. Cheers, DA, Calgary, AB
No doubt about it, we are under constant bombardment by messages that make us feel small if we let them. Be slim, enlarge this, trim that, earn so much... The media! Scientific breakthroughs promising mind boggling deliverables, although probably not quite in time for the boomer generation. Always falling a bit short, or so it seems. Or perhaps we should stop and check our back trail occasionally, and see how far we have come. Hiking and skiing the back country in Alberta I would regularly do that, partly too to make sure I could recognize the route back out, but just as often to pause, reflect, and think Wow! I certainly managed to accomplish something today. Just look at that view! And as the song says...
“Yes, there are two paths you can go by.
But in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
And it makes me wonder...”
I’ll leave you to figure out which one it is! Cheers Mark!, DM, Ladysmith, BC