Why Do So Many People Lack Integrity?By Dr. Margaret Paul
April 28, 2008
A lack of integrity is rampant in our society. This article begins to explain the deeper causes of this lack of integrity.
-As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen, a 100 year-year-old classic (Since this is so old, please do not be put off by the use of "man" rather than "As a Person thinketh." Being politically correct was not a primary issue when this book was written!)Our planet is in trouble due to a lack of integrity - a lack of high moral principles that are in alignment with who we really are in our souls. Why is there such a lack of integrity? What is the issue underlying a lack of integrity?
As the quote above indicates, how we THINK determines our level of integrity. When we are addicted to thinking thoughts that create fear, we may end up behaving in ways that lack integrity.
Why would we want to think thoughts that create fear? Because this is what our programmed mind - our wounded ego self - knows and thrives on.
Our wounded self - which is our ego programmed mind - learned many ways to protect us from the things we feared and could not handle as little children. We might have learned to lie to protect against our parent's anger. We might have learned to steal to get what we wanted. We might have learned to have temper tantrums to get our way.
We might also have learned to think thoughts such as:
"Being kind gets you nowhere. If I'm kind, people will run over me and take advantage of me."This kind of thinking will always create fear and a need to be in control. Out of this fear, people will behave in many ways that lack integrity and go against who they really are. They continue to behave as they may have as little children - lying, stealing, having temper tantrums, doing anything they can to have control over getting what they want, even when it harms others. We have only to look at government, many big businesses, drug companies, and insurance companies to see that a lack of integrity has become the norm in our society.
"If I don't fight to get what I want, I won't get my fair share."
"There is never enough to go around, so I had better make sure I'm at the head of the line, even if others get hurt. The end justifies the means."
This will not change until people change their thoughts. What if people thought thoughts based on truth and caring rather than on fear? What if the following thoughts were the norm?
"Being kind to myself and others empowers me and gives me the strength to stand up for what is right - both for myself and others."Obviously, people who operate from these thoughts rather than from the thoughts of their ego wounded selves, are the people who are in integrity.
"There is enough for everyone to have what they want and need. Abundance is a law of the universe."
"Behaving in ways that are in alignment with the spiritual values of compassion, kindness and caring - which is who I really am - brings me great inner peace and joy."
As long as people operate under the false belief that happiness lies in getting what they want externally, rather than in whom they choose to be in the world, they will be lacking integrity on their way to getting. Only when they finally see that deep inner peace and joy comes from being in alignment with their inner spiritual values will they consistently behave with integrity.
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Ask yourself with each choice you make today, "Would I want this announced in the newspapers?" Staying in integrity means thinking and behaving in ways you are proud of. Be vigilant about your integrity - it will move you into the light.
By Dr. Margaret Paul