Friday, January 24, 2014

Integrity

C.S. Lewis said it perhaps the best when he defined integrity as doing the right thing even when no one is watching.  How many times, when no one knows what we are doing, do we utter a phrase like 'It won't hurt anything.',  'It's not a big deal.', 'It won't hurt anyone.' or 'No one will ever know.'?  Do those sound familiar to you?  They sure do to me.  It's a daily battle that we fight inside of ourselves.  Conscience.  Morality.  Integrity.  Right versus wrong.  The battle rages on.

Let me first say that this is not meant to be a judgemental post.  Many of the things I post about are issues that I struggle with, and writing about them helps me think them through.  Opening up about them and posting them online often gives me feedback from one of my two readers that opens my eyes to something I perhaps hadn't considered before.  It's almost therapeutic.  So please, chime in.  Facebook me, comment on my blog, email me, tweet me, google plus me, or just call me.  I'm an open book when it comes to this stuff, and love discussing how others feel about the issues I write about.  I hope they cause you to think, and grow, in some small way.  Because if I can change the lives of my two readers in any way, then it's worth it.  Ha! 

Society has loosened the reigns of morality in so many ways.  Everyone preaches tolerance, acceptance, love.  Those things in and of themselves are all fine and good.  But sometimes love is about keeping the ones you love accountable, and them keeping you accountable as well.  Tolerance and acceptance are awesome things, but not when it's simply an excuse to look the other way even though we know what is happening is simply not right.  We watch social media and follow celebrities to see what they are doing.  We watch television and see the lines between what is accepted by censors moving further and further away from what they used to be.  Would you let your child watch prime time television these days without screening it first?  I sure wouldn't.  Does that make me a prude?  Trust me, I'm far from a prude.  I just have pretty strong feelings about what my son takes in.  I don't spend time trying to get others to agree with me and I don't disagree with them.  It's just my own personal opinion on the subject.  

I work in State government.  Now, by no means am I saying this is exclusive to working in State government.  I'm sure it applies to pretty much every field out there these days.  But within the confines of where I work, I often see things happen where there was an opportunity to do the right thing, but it is not done.  As a society, we seem to be more tolerant and accepting of this kind of  behavior.  We don't want to make waves or bring attention to ourselves for fear of how it might impact us.  Even when we know the way things are being handled isn't always right.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard phrases like the following being uttered: "It's always been this way.  It's not going to change now." "If I speak up, it's not going to make a difference, so I'll just keep my mouth shut and do my job."  I have probably uttered words similar to those myself many times.  When did we as a society stop caring about what is right?  And maybe more importantly, when did we stop speaking out when we see something that is not right?  It's something that I have been struggling with for quite sometime now.  I find it very disheartening that this has almost become 'the norm'.  

I want my son to know the difference between right and wrong, and to have the courage to speak up when he sees things that he and everyone else knows are not right.  Mind you, there are ways of going about it that are perhaps better than others.  But in my experience, staying silent when you have an opportunity to right a wrong by speaking up is in many ways worse than committing the wrong.  It enables the wrong to continue, and possibly compound.  

Do you deal with this sort of struggle in your own workplace?  Do you struggle with speaking up in these situations?  Why or why not?  I'd love to hear any and all comments on this whether it is in your personal or professional life.   Thanks for reading!  As they say at Walgreens - Be Well and have a great day!

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