One week into the Presidency of Trump if you have been living in a similar world to me, you might have been questioning the meaning of big keystone words like INTEGRITY and TRUTH.
Words, as always, are mere symbols, and meaningless without context. They are also the foundation of constructs that build relationship and TRUST (another big word) between people.
Most of my life has been built around Integrity. Teaching it, exploring it, excavating it. Sometimes with naivety, if naivety and integrity can cohabit….?
In 2000 I created a two day workshop which was delivered to thousands, called Dare to Care -how to speak the radical truth with compassion. (You can purchase the ebook that has the seven step process that makes up the backbone of Dare to Care, “Speak the Truth” here.)
And my teacher of teachers, R.Buckminster Fuller, urged us, with his last breath, to live in integrity.
Rather than use words, we must live them. We must be the model. Now more than ever, we need to do this, for we are at a time in history where elements of global leadership are working with great consistency to demonstrate that integrity, truth and trust are entirely different to what I was taught in kindergarten.
It is no surprise then that George Orwell’s book, 1984, has this week regained the #1 position in book sales, for it deals with the fall out of not fighting for good and truth every single day.
Over the years I have written much about integrity and truth. Yet obviously we need to have more people write about it, act it, live it…because it feels to me like there are places in the world where we have forgotten what it means.
Bucky Fuller would say that integrity “holds its shape”. There is a wholeness to integrity. A ‘nothing left out’. Coherent. Aligned. Resonant. We cannot argue with it.
In his fabulous book, Abilene Paradox, one of my favourite books on management/leadership of all time, Jerry Harvey writes about Captain Asoh, a story of a JAL pilot who, in the 60’s, landed his plane perfectly in San Francisco Bay, 2 kms from the runway, without any loss of life. At his trial, day #1, he admitted, without making up reasons why or why not, he had made a mistake. “I screwed up.”
The simplicity and raw honestly of his story against a backdrop of 6 months of sensationalism and innuendo caught everyone in a stunned silence.
I screwed up. That is all. We can go into a million variations of why I might have, but the truth of the matter is, I screwed up.
I am so tired of the justifications, the stories, the defenses, the endless rationalisations as to why and why not. It is all just endless BS.
Can we please just have integrity? And truth?
Of course where it gets complex is we have built a world, covered in legal $$$, where people need excuses, stories, BS…and as such we have no idea what is truth and what is not. Anyone who hangs around a courtroom will tell you it is rarely about justice, and most always about who had the best defense, truth or not.
The biggest task we face as humans in Universe right now is the ability to apply discernment. To ask the questions most people will not ask, are afraid to ask…might not know to ask.
To really think for ourselves. To seek perspectives we had not dared explore.
“There is no such thing as a straight line.”
‘One plus one plus one can equal four.’ (I can show you how)
As to education, how do we convert our system from education to learning? To having our kids become even more annoying at asking questions than they were in the first few years of their life? And to NOT spoon feed them with stock answers. But to get them to continue to inquire, continue to seek, continue to ask?
And finally, in our discernment, we must fight again for good. Say no to lies. Call them lies. Call them by name. Call out the elephant. (Check out “The Thin Book of Naming Elephants.”)
It is time to put away the attempt to be politically correct and new age sensitive. Brutes and bully’s will just laugh at you for being so ‘nice.’ Truth can come with clear and resonant anger. Anger is healthy when it speaks from a reservoir of integrity, and doesn’t seek to shame/belittle/reduce, instead simply to name what is so.
I find it so interesting that I am writing these words, 16 years after I spent two years teaching Dare to Care.
Perhaps it is time for me to dust off the program and bring it back to life, for god knows we all need to build our skills of communication to handle the world of deception and lies that has descended upon us?
What do you think?