I watched the movie “The Post” last night. If you haven’t seen it, the movie is about the publishing of The Pentagon Papers by The Washington Post and The NY Times in 1971, basically exposing the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations for lying to the American people about the Viet Nam War. It was also, the beginning of the end for Richard Nixon as President.
In the movie, the editor Ben Bradlee and owner Katherine Graham have to make a decision between publishing the information or caving to the government’s gag order. They choose to publish, which was their integrity.
- firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility
- an unimpaired condition: soundness
- the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness
I have always had integrity around “wholeness”. Especially being whole with ourselves. I talk about it in my trainings all the time. It is from the Latin meaning soundness, wholeness, completeness.
And I LOVE, incorruptibility! Those journalists in the early 70s were not corruptible (especially Danial Ellsberg who leaked the info) by the government or even the threat of jail time and financial devastation.
I believe the students walking out of schools this week and last month are incorruptible in their vision and cause. Agree or disagree, they are standing for what they believe without regards to the consequences of their actions. Flashback: The civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the 60s peace movement.
There’s something about integrity in this way that is powerful, potent, transformative. When we see people standing in their own integrity (and everyone’s is different), even in the face of danger, failure, rejection, ridicule, harassment, betrayal, and in the extreme, death; something moves in us. We pay attention, turn our head, respect their courage, pray for their safekeeping; whether we agree with the subject matter or not.
I believe what moves us is our own longing for our integrity. I am not saying you are “not” in integrity in your life. And if you have ever been completely taken over by something bigger than yourself; a vision, purpose, mission, you know what making choices out of your integrity feels and looks like. You chose based on the wholeness and incorruptibility of your vision and mission. Nothing else would do. Your power came from within and was potent and clear.
So, my first question for you is, where might you be “out” of integrity for you? I am not referring to the agreements you have made out in the world that you may not be keeping. If you have broken agreements, clear them up, be responsible, handle it with the person or people impacted. If you are a graduate of transformational work, you know how to do this and why it is so important.
And, where might you be “out” with you? Perhaps it is your self care. Are you eating well, exercising, meditating, going to yoga, maintaining your prayer practice? I have been a commitment to my health for many years, however, I know in my heart when I am cutting corners, selling out, or being lazy.
Maybe you are “out” in your relationships, romantic or family/friends. Are you not speaking with honesty, authenticity? Are you withholding your love and appreciation because of some hurt or resentment? Are you being the parent you want to be? Or the son, daughter or sibling you want to be?
How about your career? Are you longing to be engaged in your passion? Maybe it’s art or coaching or your invention that could shift an industry. Maybe your integrity is about elevating your department or expanding your small business.
Is your integrity calling you to take a stand in your world? Oprah’s magazine has been focusing on this for the last two months. Love that woman! Are there ways for you to speak up, stand up, volunteer, add your voice or talent in the community around you?
What are you being called to be and do? There is a sign in our trainings that gets bigger every day: WHAT AM I PRETENDING NOT TO KNOW?
What would your answer to that question be?
If there was something about Mary, there is definitely something about integrity! What is your incorruptible stand in your life? What is the always flashing neon sign of your life? What do you want it to be? And …when they are the same, that is true peace.