Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain. Choosing courage over comfort. What’s right over what’s fun, fast or easy. As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”
And Malcolm X: “If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.”
Values are who you are even when no one is watching. And as Joe Batten says, “Our value is the sum of our values.” Our behavior is based on what we value most... truthfulness, love, compassion, generosity, kindness, respect, service, freedom of choice, integrity, friendship, gratefulness, and so on. If we do our best to live with such values, and teach them to our children by example, anything is possible for this world. And as Ayn Rand pointed out, “Happiness proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.”
Make sure your values - what you believe in - are your own. Then you can live a life of integrity, instead of somebody else's life. When your values are clear, making decisions, knowing what's best to do, comes readily. You do what is right, not what is easy. Where there is love there is no sin.
Immanuel Kant explains, “Morality is not the doctrine of how we make ourselves happy, but how we make ourselves worthy of happiness.”
Conditioned values are sufficient for a successful material life; however, they cannot guide your intention to be free. The core of the issue is that, although our intentions are good, the way in which we use our values to direct those intentions is subject to both individual and collective conditioning; hence, the purest objectives can be misdirected by ego, and we end up essentially back at the beginning where we started. Continues...
Defining who you are is your responsibility and it extends to those around you, so take that responsibility seriously. It's also important you harm no one in the process. If you're spending time working on yourself and your own issues, you'll have less time to judge another. Define who you are first and then bring that example forward, enriching the lives of those around you. Continues...
In every generation and every nation, our greatest need is men and women of good character, who dare to do what is right, choose the road least traveled and follow a higher calling. They are the light and salt of the world; for without them, there would be no way to stop those with unbridled ambitions, insatiable greed and unmatched intellect for evil. Continues...
PODCAST by Peter Shepherd ~ The Value of Loving Service
Serving others in a loving way can actually transform our own lives. In serving others we discover our essence, our truth, our love. To be of loving service we draw on our conscience, our religion and our values. Also see the accompanying article in the Inside-Out blog.