in , , , , by Linda A Kinsman, Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As I got ready to place the Blog with Integrity Badge here; it occurred to me that somebody should make a Life with Integrity Badge for those of us who seek to live it.  Now, let me say right from the start: I do not think I am better than you! I am not here to judge, I’m here to be the best me I can be and if something I say jangles a nerve, well, maybe you ought to take a little time to explore your reaction. 

What is Integrity?
I  grab my Webster’s Dictionary from the bookcase (yes, I am old school and still rely on books that aren't attached to an electronic device). There are 3 definitions for integrity.  I am referring to # 3 which states integrity is:
The quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty and sincerity.

I have tried to live my life by these guiding principles. I have been praised and loved by those who find these qualities admirable. I've also had my fair share of names tossed my way whenever I  called attention to a person's lack of integrity in their dealings with me and those I love.
In my teens and early 20's,  I was called “volatile" and "hostile" and a female dog because I dared to stand up against the liars, backstabbers and chameleon like game players that were prevalent in my neighborhood and high school. 
Later in my 20’s and 30's I was labeled "unfriendly" because I would not stand around gossiping about my co-workers, nor would I stand for being flirted with. I was and am a very happily married woman and didn't find it harmless or amusing.
When I had my first child and became a stay at home Mom, I was labeled "mean" by the other Moms because I would not listen to or participate in idle gossip about whatever Mom wasn't in ear shot, or my husband, or my child, or my mother in law. 
FYI:   Mean girls grow up to be mean moms who then raise mean girls and the feeding frenzy continues. As a Mom it is my job to raise my girls not to fall prey to this and to warn them that yes, leading with Integrity will put you on some lonely roads. But all will be well if you can look yourself in the eye and not flinch at what you see.

Now that I'm in my 40's, I've come to realize that these types of people will never, ever change.  I no longer “fight the good fight" with them, I keep my own council and I just quietly dis-engage.  Their opinion of me does not matter.
Take last week for instance. I was asked to do a favor for somebody that at first blush looked like a good deal.  Just add some items to an order and I would get Free stuff and they would get points towards their trip.  This person was very assertive: using lots of if I were yous and what I need you to do for me  and blah, blah , blah ... I stopped listening when my gut said “Wow, if this is how she got to be a team leader in her business;  I want no part of it."
 I could have told her what she was asking was unethical, but I've learned there is no point in wasting my breath, so I dismissed her with " Thanks, but No thanks”!  and hung up on her before she could point out my lack of "team spirit" because I wasn't allowing myself to be used by her. 
No, I am not a perfect pillar of society, but I sure do sleep well at night and I'm not a frazzled mess trying to keep track of all the lies and schemes I've got going on.  I like my simple, uncomplicated life with Integrity. 
 I also like the blogging community and will blog with Integrity.
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