Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Random Thoughts Of A Mountain Man - Integrity
Integrity: "The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles: Moral uprightness. The state of being whole and undivided". Or as C.S. Lewis says above - Doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching. Integrity is something that can take a lifetime to establish and only takes a moment to destroy. Integrity is something that you need to be consistent with or you can lose respect from family, friends and acquaintances. I believe that we are all born with a moral compass of right and wrong but it needs cultivating or it dies if unused. Parents need to instill and reinforce it when we are young or it will never develop fully. Giving a child a start on integrity is much more rewarding than giving them a video game.
Integrity defines who you are and what your character represents to others. It is something that requires a long term effort and while it embraces your true self it must be constantly sought after because it defines you. Desiring your own way or not conducting yourself with honor/honesty rarely goes unnoticed. When you do not treat others with respect, fairness or honor them it is usually found out and can undermine your credibility with others. Some people seem to put a low value on integrity but when they finally realize how valuable it is the time may already be past in obtaining it.
Integrity when taught at a young age, if followed, will serve a person an entire lifetime. Integrity can not be bought but instead it must be slowly earned. Integrity is not about quantity but quality. It is not a about a few acts of random kindness and then cheating or taking advantage of others when you think no one is watching because almost always someone will be watching you and your conscience will know as well.
Integrity is more valuable than gold and as allusive to some as trying to push back the tide. A person with integrity will have honest and true relationships whereas someone lacking integrity will never feel fulfilled and will be lacking something they can't put their finger on. Those who lack integrity often strongly resent those who have it. It is a reminder to them of their shortcomings and what they should be.
We need to instill these values in our children if we want them to be successful in life and reinforce it throughout their lives, even through adulthood. In spite of our best efforts though some will not embrace it and then ultimately find it too late to develop. The more you make decisions in life that are not moral decisions the more your moral compass is skewed. It is not always easy to take the moral path but in the end it is the most rewarding.
Many people; especially in their later years are concerned about their legacy. They want to be known as having integrity but sadly lack it. I would hope when I am gone that those who know me well would say he was one tough guy but he had integrity and you could always count on him when needed. His moral compass was spot on.These are some of the random thoughts of a mountain man who has worked his entire life trying to be honest and maintain strong moral values. Looking back it was the easier road to travel and now I can see how it has enriched my life.