Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I just saw a TV ad about integrity. Like a lot of ads, it uses children to get the point across and the ad itself was about children learning the concept. The ad asked "What is integrity?" and the children offer their understanding of it. Of course, they are pretty much right on the money... otherwise, the answers would have been left on the cutting room floor and the ad would have been re-shot with smarter kids.
But it got me thinking. What is integrity and do I have it? I have thought so for many years. I could have been wrong. And I was wrong. I was just fooling myself. I was honest but not all the time. I listened to the "angel on my shoulder" but not all the time. I was fair to others but not all the time. And, looking back, the "not all the time" might be better described as "not most of the time."
I had a good role model to follow: my father. But, like most kids in my era, it was more hip to rebel. And so I did. I sought out the wrong role models instead. Which meant I got into trouble a bit. Quite a bit. My cleverness (as I saw it) kept me from getting caught most of the time and maybe mitigated the situation when I did get caught.
I've come to believe that behavior is a matter of habit. That is, you can alter your behavior by habit creation. We know what the "right thing" to do is most of the time and doing it consciously often enough will eventually make it second nature.
Start small. Instead of getting angry at the slow driver in front of you, picture him as nervous or scared or worried about something in his life. Give him a little more room. Same with that person with 20 items in front of you in the "10 items or less" register lane. Maybe he's got to get home to take his wife to chemo treatments, maybe he's got a reason he thinks justifies breaking the rules this time. Hold the door open for the person behind you even if that means waiting a bit for him or her to get there. You'll develop a habit of courtesy and tolerance. And you'll be surprised at how quickly that happens. And how much better you feel overall.
Courtesy is not integrity, of course, and integrity takes a bit more to develop but it can start there.