On politics and integrity

Recently I have been working on my what and why, goals for myself personally and professionally. Essentially, a mission statement for life. It’s all part of my effort to live with more intention and to be more deliberate and thoughtful in how I spend my time (and how I design this blog – stay tuned!). The opposite is being caught up in the flood of my to-do list and swept along with no destination in mind. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good windy path – one of my favorite quotes is “all who wander are not lost” – but I have a tendency to get battered about by other people’s needs and wants and forego my own as a result. So it is good practice for me to very thoughtfully consider who I am, what I am about, and prioritize. My WHY.

My friend, Nicole, has been coaching me through this soul-searching deep dive. She told me that I needed to take a stance. And that really struck me. I tend to be a conflict-averse people-pleaser, one of those jacks-of-all-trades-master-of-none adapting like a chameleon to better blend and not cause ripples. Not exactly taking a stance.

Take a stand

So what does this have to do with politics? No, this is not my big moment where I reveal all and take a stance on politics. Nope. Still not there. In fact, being conflict-averse, why would I want to even bring that subject up? It’s one that I typically avoid because the whole arena makes my skin crawl. But, here’s what’s become inescapable – we have lost our collective minds and moral compasses. The word integrity comes to my mind often. It’s a wonderful word, with a lot of umfph in a small package. Just four syllables but it packs a punch. Honesty; undivided; the state if being unified; moral uprightness; lack of corruption. WOW! It’s like it was designed as the antidote for our current age of whatever-in-hell-is-going-on.

Needless to say, I see a dearth of examples of it on the major national political stage. Does anyone remember what integrity means, let alone let themselves be guided by it? Is integrity in politics an oxymoron? Is that not only what it is, but what we should expect? I know it’s what we have come to expect, but should it be?

Here’s what I’ve learned this week and how it applies to politics: You can’t have a clear why statement if you don’t take a stance. So, come on presidential candidates ALL – take a stance, give your policy position (your very own WHAT AND WHY), and stop the on-stage spectacle and histrionics primarily focused like schoolyard bullies on cutting down others. If you can’t shine on your own, maybe you need to do some polishing. You won’t go wrong if you live, govern, work, and love with integrity. Let’s put the super back in super Tuesday, folks.

in·teg·ri·ty

[inˈteɡrədē]

NOUN

  1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

“he is known to be a man of integrity”

synonyms:

honesty · uprightness · probity · rectitude · honor · honorableness ·

[more]

  1. the state of being whole and undivided.

“upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”

synonyms:

unity · unification · wholeness · coherence · cohesion · undividedness ·

[more]

  • the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction.

“the structural integrity of the novel”

synonyms:

soundness · robustness · strength · sturdiness · solidity ·

[more]

  • internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data.

“integrity checking”