Tammy's post here touched on the theme of integrity and put me in mind of these following two stories -
A friend of his visited a building site. He found the demountable site office open but unattended, so entered and sat upon one of the metal seats. While waiting, he noticed a paper bag under one of the seats and being bored, he looked inside. Surprised, he found that it was filled with cash. He spent some time counting it. The paper bag contained over $330,000. He stood and looked outside. There was nobody on site and nobody had seen him there. He had not been expected and nobody but himself knew that he had any reason for being there that day. It seemed that he could take the bag and the cash and nobody but himself would know what he had done. What should he do?
He held the bag until someone arrived that he could hand it on to. "I think that I am an honest man," he told my friend, "but I know that I am at least $330,000 honest."
How honest am I? Am I - or are you - willing to sell our integrity for $1? Probably not. What about $1,000? We hope not. What about $330,000? .. or $1,000,000? Is there any price for which I am willing to sell my integrity; to sacrifice honesty?
I used to ask our children this, when they seemed inclined to lie in order to escape the consequences of something they had done. What price integrity?
Ouch. And touche. Very true.
Integrity to me means having my actions be consistent with my beliefs. This definition allows room for us to behave sometimes very differently from one another, but still each hold true to integrity. We may not have approved the actions of Javert from Les Miserables, but no-one can question his integrity. Likewise, Saul of Tarsus and Paul after his journey to Damascus, behaved very differently - but both behaved with integrity.
I guess it just comes down to this: do we believe in being honest? Then: are my actions consistent with my beliefs?
What do you think?
What do you think?