The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(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.


Niel Black said...

I always hold the door open for the person behind me (except when going into the gents, as that’s feels a bit like entrapment or very potentially very  insulting if happens to be  a woman who is walking down the corridor behind me and she has a but of a moustache thingy going on…). However if they barge passed and make no acknowledgement I can’t help but shout a rather sarcastic “You’re welcome”.  Perhaps I should change this to “I hope your partners chemo treatment is working ”  it sounds a bit more understanding of why they are ignorant, rude sons of bitches….

Douglas4517 said...

I often did that loudly calling "You're welcome!" at their backs but I realized few noticed or acknowledged so I quit bothering. Yup, they are rude but you know you aren't and isn't that the point?