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How Do You Measure Integrity?

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Integrity is a pretty cool thing. One of the things that make it so neat is that it’s very rare these days. One of the silliest games ever played by humans is “what would you do for a million dollars”. Why there’s even media dedicated to this game. It’s crazy to hear what some people would do or give up for money.

Integrity isn’t just about being a good person or being good most of the time in most situations. It’s about honesty and not the kind of honesty you can just give when you feel like it, but honesty that’s a part of who you are no matter what. Honesty like a terminal disease, no matter what you try, it’s always with you.

Three hundred years ago I worked at this furniture store with a guy who didn’t believe in celebrating Christmas. I don’t really know why or what his deal was, but I guess it really doesn’t matter for the meaning of this story. All you need to know is that he didn’t celebrate Christmas, (sorry to slow you down). So around the holiday bonus time, my boss called this guy into the office and handed him a “Christmas Bonus” check with the usual, lame, “for all your hard work” speech. The guy turned the check down. My boss flipped and didn’t know what to do or say other than the obvious, “Why?” He replied, “I don’t believe in Christmas and it would be wrong for me to accept gifts.” And so it was, a human walking away from money, money that some could say he earned or even deserved. All because he refused to compromise his own beliefs, wow.

I’m with the rest of you though. I’d give my mother over to monsters for them to eat if it meant I got a small stack of cash. I’d run naked through the mall or urinate on top of a cop car at a stop light. If there’s free money to be had for being an idiot of giving up something temporarily that I think I could handle being without, then I’m game.

Does that mean I lack integrity or does that mean I lack something to believe in? I like to think that I’ve derived a little test to measure a person’s integrity. Now this test is for us “floaters” that don’t adhere to a set belief system or group of ideas that are commonly practiced. It’s for those of us who go through life never proclaiming to know “what it’s all about”.

The test is simple and it goes like this. If you are throwing something away and you choose to throw it at the trash can rather than just drop it in, but you miss, do you or don’t you pick it up and put in the container?

If you answer no, then you lack basic integrity. If you answer sometimes, depends on where I’m at and how much I’ve had to drink, then you lack basic integrity. If you answer yes, then you lack basic integrity. What?

Only someone with integrity would answer, “That’s stupid.”

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

Written by Ramblin' Rooster

December 7, 2008 at 3:52 am

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