A Question of Integrity

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There are two things in this world I despise above all else: lying and disrespect. Like an ill-fated couple, you can always find them hand-in-hand, and where they go is surely to spell trouble.

The funny thing about lies, for many, is that they are wrapped with the very best of intentions. Whispered to spare the feelings of others, we convince ourselves one little white lie is justified. It is so much easier to avoid the awkward uncomfortableness that might accompany the truth, no matter how expertly it is delivered.

Why do we lie? Besides avoiding the consequences of our actions, there are a wide array of seemingly more noble reasons to avoid total honesty, such as…

– Trying to spare someone’s feelings or pride
– Not wanting others to think badly of us
– Being afraid that someone might steal our recognition
– Thinking that we are protecting someone
– Protecting our ego by avoiding embarrassment
– An effort to help others save face
– Our image or reputation is on the line
– We dislike someone but don’t want them to know

We convince ourselves that these a perfectly acceptable reasons to justify a little truth-bending to serve a greater good. Making excuses may soothe our minds in the short run, but it doesn’t do anything for the internal conflict that is created in our minds. Justifying dishonesty for any reason is the same as lying to ourselves.

It is a question of personal integrity.

When someone lies to us, we feel insulted because they didn’t respect us enough to be honest. Let’s face it, being honest requires courage. Being honest makes us vulnerable and accountable. Being honest requires tact and discernment. Yes, it is hard stuff and requires so much more than simply telling the truth, but when you are a person of true integrity, you give yourself no other choice.

Integrity is telling myself the truth.
And honesty is telling the truth to other people.
~Spencer Johnson

Being honest is not always easy and requires a level of courage that forces many of us to dig deep within ourselves to find strength. But honesty is the path – the only path – for people of true integrity. When you take the hand of lies and disrespect, you are wrapping yourself in an ugly cloak of deception. You are not only deceiving others, but lying to and disrespecting yourself, as well.

If you chose to live an outrageously wonderful life of integrity, do your part by having the courage, always, to be truly honest with yourself and all those who cross your path. Truly, there is no other choice.

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