April 5
Integrity is not a conditional word.
It doesn’t blow in the wind or change
with the weather.  It is your inner
image of yourself, and if you look
in there and see a person who won’t
cheat, then you know you never will.

John MacDonald


Today's Meditation:

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.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of situations may lead us to compromise our integrity?

How do you feel about yourself when you make a decision that you know to go against your vision of what's right and what's wrong?

Do you know anyone who considers integrity to be a conditional quality, depending on circumstances?  Is that person leading a life you would want to live? 

For further thought:

Deep inside, our integrity sings to us whether we are listening or not.
It is a note that only we can hear.  Eventually, when life makes us ready
to listen, it will help us to find our way home.

Rachel Naomi Remen


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