Integrity, being honest with yourself and others
There’s a really cute advertisement for Mitre 10, it has 2 little Kiwi kids playing in the sandpit discussing what they’re going to do on the weekend. One of the Kiwi’s says he’s going to get someone to build a retaining wall, the other New Zealander challenges him, “Do it yourself, get a couple of mates around, you could knock it over in half a day.”
They spot their Aussie buddy, Jonesy, also playing in the sandpit and ask him to help out, “Jonesy, give us a hand with a job Saturday.”
Jonesy looks up in disdain,”Maate, you’re dreamin’.” (that’s Aussie speak for No)
The New Zealanders look at each other, “Aussies, no surprises there.”
And that’s what I’m talking ’bout when I’m talking about integrity. No nasty surprises. What you see is what you get.
You can view the video here:
The definition of Integrity is
When we are consistent with our words and actions we become people of integrity, and naturally become trustworthy; that is, worthy of people’s trust.
Giving honest opinions is one area that can be challenging. Replying to the question, “Do you like my haircut?” When you’ve seen better on North Korean President, Kim Jong-un, can take a great deal of grit. Or maybe not.
And when someone has gone to extraordinary lengths making you dinner, but it tastes like it’s just passed through the back end of a cow; what do you reply when they’re asking for feedback?
So where does good manners end and truth begin?
Replying honestly in the affirmative is not going to be hard, people be mad as a cut snake if they were unhappy with positive feedback. But replying honestly in the negative, now that’s going to test us-it’s a tough gig to be the bearer of bad news, just ask any doctor.
But being a person of integrity means that we will be honest with others (as well as ourselves). Because when we are honest with a negative reply, that makes our positive statements even more valuable. People can see that we aren’t just saying it, we really mean it!
So how can we encourage others to give us honest feedback?
If we aren’t easily offended when someone gives us negative feedback, then they are more likely to be honest. For example, if I have a spack attack when told I’m ‘too sensitive’, then boom, they got that right. And I’ve just trained that person not to be honest with me. But if I don’t become offended, sulky or retaliate back, then I’ve won a valuable asset in gaining the trust of a person of integrity. And that friends, is someone you want hanging around!
‘As Iron sharpens Iron, one person sharpens another.’ Note to self, iron sharpening iron can lead to sparks flying.
Another tricky scenario is speaking truth to those who have authority over you. “Hey, Mr President, I saw you cheated that worker.” Said no person ever who kept their job.
So what can we do if asked questions that require a negative answer? Being a person of integrity gives us a few options.
We can remain silent-Jesus did this when he was confronted by the religious leaders.
We can answer the question with a question. Jesus did this too. For example, if someone asks, “What do you think of Beryl?” I could say, “Why are you asking that question?”
Or we could just give our opinion.
But what we aren’t to do is tell lies, and say the opposite of what we really think. That’s crossing the line and will have us tied in knots quicker than a playful puppy with a ball of string.
“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” C.S. Lewis