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THE IMPORTANCE OF LOYALTY AND INTEGRITY

 

By Lawna Elayn Tapper

 

 

Tuesday, October 07, 2008.

 

Lies and a lack of integrity are the biggest problems facing modern society!'  We witness it in friendships, love, and work.  It’s a disease that cuts across all areas of the human experience.  It seeps into politics, and even into the sacred world of religion.  In fact, statistics reveal that ’the average person lies between once and two hundred times a day!’  Though few would argue an indifference to integrity, for many, its a mere shadow of a better self – ever present, but impossible to capture!


The opening quotes are from Gary King, author of The Power of Truth, a CD that spells out the importance of integrity, highlighting how and why it impacts every aspect of our lives.  So what is integrity?  Wikepedia defines it thus: "…the virtue of basing one’s actions on an internally consistent framework of principles…One can describe a person as having integrity to the extent that everything that person does derives from the same core set of values…Values may change, but must remain consistent with the person’s actions – this determines their degree of integrity." 

 

Now, look around yourself, look out into the world, and, as you are a piece in the puzzle that fits into the wider world of what’s around you, look at your own life; I’d put my house on the fact that this definition is not what you see!


So, what’s your area of weakness?  Are you a husband sleeping with someone else, or a wife harbouring sexual admirations for someone else’s man?  Maybe you’ve recently called in sick, just because, really, you hate your job.  Do you make bogus insurance claims, fed-up of patronizing fat established companies that show their customers no gratitude?  Did you tell your girl that she’s not fat just after you told your confidant that you want a new woman that’s not ‘letting herself go’? 

 

Perhaps you told your friend you thought he looked good whilst saying ‘Jesus Christ!’ inside your head.  Are you an integral part of a dear friend’s business whilst deceitfully using his resources to set up your own thing?  Did you dash up the road without looking back after the shopkeeper gave you too much change? 


Besides these everyday situations, you get the lies on that seem to be on a greater scale – the lies that keep nations fooled, poor and in submission.  When world leaders pretend their enemies are tyrants and that they are not because they want access to natural resources for free, that is a lie! 

 

When they propagandize threats about ‘terrorists’ and immigrants to generate hatred toward one group from another, that is a lie!  When religious leaders enjoy prosperity and tell their congregations that to suffer poverty and degradation will bring divine blessings, that is a lie!  When governments permit industries to feed herbivores offal and sell beef to the public as fresh, healthy meat, they are party to an extremely grave lie!  Yes, this disease that is a lack of integrity seems a labyrinth from which there is no escape.


So is it worth trying to be honourable – is this scarcity of integrity just an integral part of the human condition?   I suspect that’s too easy.  And besides, we do see relatively occasional examples of integrity, and when this happens, at best, we look on in awe, and at worst, in envy!  Either way, our consciences tell us that integrity is something to be admired. 

 

A couple of months ago, Britain watched as David Davis boldly resigned his post as Shadow Home Secretary.  His move was in protest against the passing of the law upholding the 42-day detention of terror suspects, without charge.



On a greater level, Davis was expressing his abhorrence of the consistent and systematic erosion of civil liberties that characterizes contemporary British politics.  It was front-page news!  And despite apparent murmurings in Westminster that he was either ‘vain or insane’ to have made such a move, many responded with respect and praise.  When the Conservative leader, David Cameron, referred to Davis as being ‘so courageous,’ I wondered if he truly thought Davis had made a ‘career mistake,’ or secretly wished he had such integrity himself. 

 

When Tony Benn, known as Britain’s most credible Socialist, called this member of an opposing party ‘a man of integrity,’ I knew that he believed that Davis was from his own school of thought – the one that believes ‘evil prevails when good men do nothing!’


As individual human beings, we all know and adore acts of goodness when we see them.  So, given the fact that it is us that comprises nations, societies and communities, why are occurrences of integrity so relatively infrequent?  The aforementioned Gary King offers a reason that answers this anomaly. He tells us that in the USA, ‘”there are schools and colleges that teach Alternative Ethics.” 

 

What are they? I hear you ask. 

 

Well, Alternative Ethics is the study of different processes that can help you achieve whatever outcome you want – basically, how to lie and sound credible.  There is even a large company in New York (which King is kind enough not to name) whose business is substantiating lies.  Whether you want time off work and tell your employer that you need to be in Belize to have surgery, or if you’re having an affair, this company can provide your boss or partner with a telephone number where someone will verify whatever you have said.  What a wizard idea - I wonder what deceitful mastermind dreamt it up!  Let’s not confuse the children by calling this intelligence.  True intelligence is always positive.



Sadly, dependence on lies starts way before we even get to school or college.  King gives an example of a little girl, any little girl, who, when asked, admits to her mother that she has taken a freshly baked cookie off the plate.  She is punished.  Sometime later, Mary finds herself in the same situation again.  On this occasion Mary lies, says she hasn’t taken a cookie.  This time all is well. 

 

This simple example typifies one of our earliest lessons in social conditioning.  Quite inadvertently, mum sent her daughter the message that it’s okay to lie as long as it’s credible enough so as not to get you caught.  Thereafter, young children have this same message reinforced over and over again, in the home, in school, in all aspects of life.  Before you know it, your daughter has grown up and she’s quite comfortable marrying a man because she’s in love with his lifestyle and not because she’s in love with him.  Your son, well, he’s quite happy to cheat on his exams. $

 

We’re actually taught that to tell lies and get away with it makes us a sharp wit, not a liar. Check yourself!  One thing with us humans is that we become experts at anything we practise.



So why are you not wrestling with your conscience when you lie? 

 

Well, number one, you’re a liar and you’re surrounded by liars.  Number two, we live in a world where there are so many references for deception and so few for integrity. Of all the most influential people in the world - our political leaders, religious leaders, the wealthiest amongst us – how many of them will tell you they promote the idea that lying is wrong? 

 

How often do we hear them talk about the importance of integrity?  Former American president Bill Clinton got caught with his ‘pants down,’ yet he is still upheld as one of the greats of modern times – that’s how dumb we are – check yourself!  The lack of integrity in our world is so far-reaching that the implications for our planet are immense, but you’ll never truly consider future generations until you first consider yourself. 

 

In businesses today, lying is acceptable behaviour, and I suspect that that shocks no one – that’s what’s sad!  So it is clear that we cannot look to schools, universities, corporations, politicians or even churches for lessons in ethics.  So we need to look into ourselves and become the leaders we want to see.

King believes ‘there is no such thing as an inconsequential lie’ – every lie we tell carries negative consequences. Lying weakens the cell structure of your body.  

 

The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton explains that cells naturally reside in a state of protection or a state of growth.  In a state of protection, cells form a shield that keeps toxins locked inside them.  Every time we lie, the cells in our body go into a state of protection!  We lie to protect, kidding ourselves that it’s a survival technique – to avoid some sort of pain we figure is unbearable. 

 

The truth is that lying causes stress and stress causes disease – that is a medical fact!  You tell one lie, then you tell another, to make the first lie more believable, then another lie to substantiate the last, and so it goes on.  And then you wonder why you have no peace of mind!  How long do you think it will be before your body can no longer withstand that level of internal torment?  Disease is just a heartbeat away!

This is really a discussion about one’s level of consciousness – of how aware we are of who we are, how accountable we are for our words and our actions, and whether we’re prepared and ready to take responsibility for them. Examples of integrity have always been held in awe because honour, principle and honesty are the true essence of who we are.  We must mind the company we keep, and know that it takes courage to talk the truth and to hear the truth – reach out to both.  Our subconscious knows that a lie is a lie, and if it’s not the truth, it’s a lie. 

 

You can exaggerate, embellish, withhold, give lies colours and call them white, as you make lame attempts to rank their degree of seriousness if you like – you’ll then have made a choice to live a lie!

 

Lawna Elayn Tapper is with Rice 'n' Peas magazine, where this piece first appeared.

 

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