When looking to the topic of ethics, the word integrity quickly comes to mind. Defined as “wholeness, an unimpaired moral state, honest and sincere, by the Oxford American Dictionary. Closely related to integrity is the word integrated. When we live our lives in wholeness, it would seem to mean that we live integrated lives; lives which are seamless from one setting to the next. Our mindset needs to tell us, who I am today and with these people is who I am tomorrow in a completely different setting. Integrity carries the tone of honesty and predictability, that which the child shown in the picture can trust.
When we act with integrity, we build trust. We are living our lives in concert with the person we say we are, or perhaps even desire to be. Ethical people live lives of integrity. Does this mean that we never make a misstep, or never do things we wished we had not done? No, we all make mistakes, none of us is perfect. But neither should we be trying to be all things to all people nor do we even need to agree with all in our company. This does not mean we need to be disagreeable. Not everyone, not even my readers, all agree with everything I say or do. Yet, hopefully, they know who I am and what my view will be on certain matters. Hopefully, most will sense that after hearing each other out, we have the option to agree to disagree without losing our composure.
How is your integrity? Are others blessed because of your stability? Do your spouse and your family know you? How about your team at work, including your boss? How do you present yourself in various settings? Is it possible that you might think more highly of yourself than you ought … putting yourself and your interests ahead of others? Are you the same person at home that you are at work? I’m sometimes bewildered as people involved in violent crimes are described as gentle and loving individuals. Then I remember, two things: (1) there, but for the grace of God, go I, and (2) many, many people live duplicitous, compartmentalized lives. Listen, we are all sinful men capable of the most heinous acts that destroy our own lives and the lives of others. We are prone to utter words that wound and destroy relationships.
As we continue our dialog regarding ethics, who you are as a person and how you value others will become evidence of your ethics. Are you blessing others rather than tearing them and their work down? Are you being generous and genuine with your words? Is anyone wondering which personality got out of your bed this morning? What does it take to make yourself look good in the eyes of others?
Proverb of Solomon: A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Therein lies the blessing of integrity. One can choose to be consistently negative, by continually berated and badmouthing others. Or, we can choose to refresh and look out for others with our honesty and our supportive words and behavior. The choice is ours. He who refreshes others, will himself be refreshed.
Hoping you’re being refreshed.