Smudge pot on integrity and HONOR.Submitted by Smudge Pot on Sun, 04/28/2013 - 15:57
A recent post linked to a magazine article. I wish it was a DP original cause it's on target for where we are. The article spoke of integrity and it made the great point that riches can come and go but your integrity is something that can be kept or spent. And once spent it's hard to get back.
I understand integrity as a highly personal thing. My bodily integrity, my personal integrity stands as a line between what I will and will not do. That I apply no-one's standards but my own to my personal integrity is of less import than the people that I know find my application of integrity to be CONSISTENT. What I say I will do I will do. And my door has no lock. It's always open at any time of any day or night to those of good faith that need my help, whether asked for or implied. My word and my life stand behind that.
As such I might ask myself for whom I apply this integrity? People can say "Smudge will help you" but am I just helping myself? By keeping my integrity whom do I serve? Vanity or humanity?
Honor comes in handy in situations like this. My perception of honor informs my sense of integrity. And honor is an external thing as well as an internal thing. Honor is how we apply integrity to the outside world.
Now I know it sounds trite and the word is not really in fashion these days. It sounds melodramatic and romantic right? But honor, being in good part an external application gives us opportunity OPPORTUNITY to express integrity.
When I don my role as security for the R3VOLUTION I am truly fueled by this activation, my money, my body, my integrity are on the line for YOURS and that is fueled by HONOR which is a COMMITMENT. If I don't keep that commitment my honor is broken and I have allowed integrity to be violated. Yours and mine.
So like money, I once lost my honor. I kinda made a high gamble, lost, doubled down, lost again, doubled down....
It's much worse than poverty. No honor means you don't really deserve help. Honor can stand poor and dressed in rags but say I AM A MAN OF HONOR AND CAN BE TRUSTED. And I can ask for help for I am help in return. Honor requires this. And if you don't have honor, well you just lost more by saying so because you just lied. Almost like when you overdraw one account and now they draw from your personal savings. Lose your honor, your commitment, respect and accountability for others and you are the next thing on the menu.
Makes sense in the way that if a person has no honor they probably have no integrity, even bodily integrity and popular wisdom says don't give cash to a junkie or a wino. 80% of the time you just support their addiction and not their recovery right? That person needs to want to change (regain their integrity at the most basic level-their own bodies). But when you don't have this, you have nothing. You can't be trusted because you can't keep your word to yourself.
Also makes sense in the way that junkies will turn to prostitution. It's a progressive state of loss and eventually you lose even your bodily integrity.
In this I suggest that for us, honor and integrity are kinda bound together. We are, after all, activists and our spoken or implied honor is that we serve. We try to make things better for ourselves and others and we consider these kinda indistinguishable on one level. Just like our concept of ALL property being an extension of bodily integrity. Or in a nutshell, those of us for whom integrity just isn't good enough. You can have all the integrity you want by staying at home.
And you probably kinda intuitively know this. So I won't bother expounding any more, I'll give some pointers for what you do if you lose your honor. And this is what you do. And this is me, Smudge Pot telling you here is what you do.
YOU EFFING GET IT BACK THAT'S WHAT YOU DO. I would expect nothing less from you. Here's the steps:
1. Admit it to yourself that you screwed up bigtime. Take some time, mull it over, contrite is not a bad word for where you want to be at first.
2. Seek counsel so you can determine what constructive changes you can make now, next week and looking forward. Set up a plan.
3. Confess to those you have hurt or by virtue of not being there to help, have allowed to be hurt. Explain your plan to them and tell them exactly what to look for if you make your change.
4. Be ready for rejection. It may be that nobody you have known will trust you again and that is a problem. You need to learn how to trust yourself again so this is how you begin from absolute bottom.
5. Sleep the night before, wake up before dawn, eat what you have for food with gratitude, walk to the nearest busy store and hold the door open for everybody that walks in or out. Say "good morning" to each and every single one of them, looking them in the eyes and smiling. Keep eagle eyes to help elderlies with heavy packages. Be ready to intervene to help small children across the street or to help women with strollers over curbs. Find and return lost pets. Pray for a lost wallet you can find and return with all the cash and credit cards in it, this is The Way giving you another chance. Change a tire. Never pass anybody on the side of the road again, stop and see how you can help. If anyone needs help no matter how small I want you to be the first one to give it to them. You have nothing to lose, you have nothing and without your integrity and honor all the riches in the world can't repair you.
But if you do as I say, you will get your integrity back and honor will return. One small inch at a time. Integrity or your desire to regain it will fuel you and one day....one day you will have made new honor. And perhaps regained some that you have lost. And then you just keep going. You might find that like a reformed alcoholic or junkie this honor needs feeding daily but it feeds your integiry. It makes you stronger first in seconds and then in minutes and then by hours and then by days and slowly. Slowly those days turn into weeks and months and years. It can take time, in fact it ALWAYS DOES. But your committment will fuel your integrity and your honor will return and strengthen both in this symbiotic circle thing. I promise you.
The world is a cruel place but also a beautiful one. Each day brings many chances to gain honor however small. I still hold doors open and say good morning wherever I go like some people take vitamins. I keep my ears and eyes peeled in public for chances to serve. And it feels WONDERFUL.
And it's way closer to true power. Kids these days understand a very rough analogism to this, street culture calls it "respect" but that understanding is 100% EXTERNALLY APPLIED. Somebody "disses you" so you have to beat them down to "get your respect back". OK.
Honor and integrity cannot be taken away by external forces if you understand how they work together and they radiate from the inside out, not the outside in.