One of the few things that I have all my own,
something that I can share in a positive way with all of
the people with whom I come in contact, is my
integrity. This is the part of me that doesn't blow
with the wind, in any direction that the wind happens to
be blowing today--this is the part of me that guides me in
making decisions; that helps me to deal with other people
fairly, kindly, and consistently; and that helps me to
feel good about myself and my words and my actions.
My integrity guides me in all my decision-making, but only
if I allow it to do so. My integrity helps me to see
the most appropriate and effective course, but only if I
allow its influence to help me to do what I know to be
right. What I really love about it is that I can
make a decision now, such as I will never cheat another
person out of any money in any way, and know that I can
stick to that promise no matter what kinds of decisions
may present themselves to me in the future.
Some people believe that ethics and integrity are
conditional, and that they depend upon situations and
circumstances. Some people convince themselves that
it's okay to cheat someone out of money on certain
occasions, if that person has done certain things.
The problem, though, is that cheating anyone else out of
anything is a reflection of who we are, not a reflection
of who the other person is.
I know that there are certain circumstances in which our
integrity is not at stake when we make decisions we may
not like. We may have to make decisions that we see
as bad in order to prevent something that's even
worse. But at those times, we know that our
integrity has taken a shot, and we can deal with it on
those terms. For the most part, though, our
integrity is a huge part of who we are, and it needs to be
a huge part of each decision that we make if we're to keep
the feeling of fullness and balance in our lives.