Character DevelopmentParenting Tips

Integrity – Your Word is Valuable

Integrity –

Keep your word, define yourself, be strong in yourself

Integrity week is one  of my favorite weeks at our studio. Ever had someone promise you something? Then not follow through? It can be a little disappointing can’t it? Makes you distrustful of others, one of those things that takes away a little faith in humanity. Mostly because, it makes you value their word less.

Now think back, can you think of times you have done the same? Its an easy thing to accidentally do, especially when it comes to people you trust and love. You figure if it was harder than you thought, or if something came up, that they will understand. It is especially easy to do when it comes to your own kids. I know, I mess up being the example all the time.

They do understand, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling the same way you do if someone doesn’t keep their word to you. If you say you are going to do something, give it your all to do it. Otherwise, they will value your word less. Imagine what this can do if it happens multiple times to your kids? Your spouse? Your friends?

Your word is one of the most valuable things you have, and one of the things no one can take from you but you.
Integrity – Stay True, Stay Flexible

The easiest way to start working on the concept of integrity is to be honest and true to yourself, and to YOUR values. I emphasize YOUR in that sentence because so many of us choose our values based on the values of those we admire, rather than searching ourselves on how we really feel. We often figure that another, whether an expert or not, would know better than we do about what is best, and choose to let them tell us how to think and feel.

All this does is lock us into a box, makes us copies of other people rather than bringing our own unique experience to the table. The word is not black and white, there are more than two sides to every story, its all based in perception and how you see it. No one in history ever really sees themselves as the bad guy. People who did the worst things in history were often driven by what in their perception were good intentions.

This is why integrity in no way means being stubborn and sticking to something just because it makes you feel good or safe. Essentially just because you want to stay in your comfort zone on the subject. You should always be open minded to knew ideas, and adjustments to your own, this is how we grow and learn from each other. This is where progress happens in the world.

Be The Example…

Ever heard the term, ‘be the change you want to see in the world’? Thing is, how we act influences how those we spend time with act. Our kids, our relationships, families, and friends, we all adapt behaviors from each other the more time that we spend together.

If you believe the world needs more compassion, that the world would be a better place if people were more caring. Then CARE about others that you see, ALL of them, not just the ones you want to choose to care for. So many of us like to say that we are caring but are quick to turn the other cheek on those that don’t seem to care for us. It is easy as a human to be very self serving in how we look at things.

The more you display that around others, the more they will display that as well, and thus, the ripples we put out into the world travel a long ways, like those from a rock in a pond. Subtle, we can’t always see it, but they are there.

Integrity is about the follow through..

Talk is cheap, talk is easy, action and adversity is where you find the real you, the best of you. Like what I said about compassion earlier, integrity is about following through  with those examples. If you believe the world needs more respect, then give respect, even to your kids. This is another thing that is easy to forget and let slide as parents, we want our kids to be respectful to us, are we doing what we need to set that example NOT JUST TO OTHERS, but in how we deal with them and their feelings?

Believe the world would be better if people were more honest? Then check yourself first! Are you always honest with yourself? Are you always honest with your kids? How can you expect them to be honest if your not willing to be truthful to them?

Believe the world would be a better place if everyone used more courtesy with each other? GREAT, but then do you make sure you are using the best examples of courtesy, even when things go wrong? In the face of someone who is being rude, can you disagree while still maintaining your courtesy? Or do you have a tendency to attack the character of the other?

It’s not easy, but to have integrity is to be strong in yourself, in your ideas, in who you are, not in who others tell you to be, or who you try to emulate.

I would urge you to study the art of debate. Start with the rules of Logical Fallacies. I won’t include stuff about that here, you can find that information almost anywhere!

POWER PHRASES AND REMINDERS

Integrity Week Power Phrase’s & Questions

These are great for personal mantras to remind yourself, make promises, then follow through. They also make great motto’s and practice promises for kids learning about integrity and following through!

Power Phrase Examples:

I PROMISE style statements

I PROMISE TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF

I PROMISE TO PAY ATTENTION

I PROMISE TO KEEP MY ROOM CLEAN

I PROMISE TO TRY MY BEST

I PROMISE TO BE NICE

I PROMISE TO BE QUICK

I PROMISE TO WORK TOGETHER

I PROMISE TO THINK ABOUT OTHERS

Power Questions:

WHO IS GOING TO KEEP THEIR PROMISE

WHO IS GOING TO PAY ATTENTION? Now you promised so show me that integrity!

WHO PROMISES TO DO THEIR BEST? Now you promised show me that integrity!