Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to Find Happiness A-Z: I

This above all: to thine own self be true, 
And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
                                                       Hamlet Act 1 scene 3    

Ah, the infamous quote we hear time and time again. As a writer, this is some of the prime advice you receive--not to imitate anyone else, but to write until you've developed your own voice. I call this a form of Integrity.

According to dictionary.com, integrity is:

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. 
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a soundunimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

Some people can get away with lie upon lie, even to themselves--but then, what are they left with? 

"I'm a size six." *RIP* "Uh, they must have not sewn that seam very well." 

That's right, exposure. =)

Society in general seems to be suffering from a lack of integrity--people who embezzle from work, cheating spouses, employees who give less than their best for a paid day of work, people who cheat on tests (let's pray they don't become doctors!), even those who lie under oath or omit the truth to promote their own agenda. 

How do we heal this rampant evil and begin to mend society? One person at a time. Ourselves. One family at a time. Our families. One relationship of trust at a time--the ones we treasure most, the ones that will bring us the greatest happiness. 

Trust=freedom. Freedom brings happiness.

To thine own self be true, eh? And while we're speaking about honesty, what is the stupidest lie you've ever told or heard? (I love the ones that come from little kids!) 

28 comments:

  1. when my brother was very little, he had a habit of going in the neighbors strawberry patch---once when my mother confronted him, as to if he had been in the patch--he answered with his strawberry stained mouth--"no mama, i fell in some red dirt"

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    1. LOL! That's awesome. Kids are so amazing.

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  2. I think the lack of integrity stems from the "everyone is special" philosophy that is so embedded in our current world view. When we can't be honest with ourselves about something so fundamental, how can we be honest about anything else?

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    1. But everyone is special, in their own way. =)

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  3. I am the mother of four grown children and at present, I work in a halfway house for recovering addicts and alcoholics; the list of ridiculous lies I have heard is far, far too long to narrow down. :)

    I practice (and preach) the lazy person's guide to integrity: it's simply more energy efficient to be honest and to be who you are. Everything else takes way more effort than I'm willing to make.

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    1. --I love it! There you go, folks. It's easier to be honest.

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  4. I am struggling with teaching my kids honesty right now. For some reason they just don't grasp it. I ask my son why he lied, and he always says "I was afraid you would get mad," which is silly, because most of the things he lies about I don't get mad over. Sigh. If you know of any tips or tricks to teach it I would love to hear!

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    1. Patience. Persistence. Expecting occasional failure. They'll get it eventually. We administer severe punishments for lies--more so than misbehaving. The kids all know it's worse to tell a lie than to steal the cookies.

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  5. Well that gave me food for thought. But...I am a size 6 in my dreams...honest. Good post.

    The most stupidest lie I've ever heard I can't reveal yet as it is appearing in my A-Z story. But it is, quite frankly, insane.

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  6. Seriously Integrity is once thing that is so lacking now a days.

    Good post. :)

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    1. Right? *scratching head* Where did it go? Should I look under the rug, between couch cushions, behind the fridge?

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  7. I agree completely; Integrity. Why is it so difficult? The entitlement I see daily (maybe because I live in the SF Bay Area?) is staggering. Kids get tribal as they become teenagers; we talk a lot about what is appropriate, what is honest, and why it matters. It's a lifelong conversation. Best lie? "no I didn't take any Halloween candy from my brother!" (face smeared with 'borrowed' chocolate)

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    1. *shaking head* And they think they're so clever. =)

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  8. I am absolutely positively the worst lie-er on the planet. It is a very interesting "art" these people who lie must master. Great post:)

    -fellow A to Z-er

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    1. I say that's a very admirable thing. =)

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  9. I'm going to read this post to my 14 year old son! :)

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    1. This is actually one of the values we emphasize with the youth (12-18 yr olds) in my faith. Very wise, eh?

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  10. I can't lie, so I have no idea why my kids are so good at it. They conspire together, but each one has a different "lie look." Yeah, mom knows all bawhahaha! lol.

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    1. LOL! That's so awesome! I can believe about 1/2 of what comes out of my 6 yr old, but the older ones are nearly 100% honest. Don't know where the last one came from.

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  11. The lack of integrity is evident in the condition of our society. Without it which includes morals, standards, and values all the good will be compromised away. For me God is my compass to keep integrity on course. Great blog

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    1. Definitely--he's the one who keeps you on target. =)

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  12. It's so distressing to think about the lies people tell for their own advantage. However, this seems to be a human condition. All we can do is ensure our own integrity--as you say.

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    1. So true. You want to fix a problem, start with yourself, eh?

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  13. It's unfortunate, but lying is a part of life. Sometimes we lie to make someone feel better; sometimes we lie to save our own skin. But as long as we can feel good about ourselves and our actions, I guess we've maintained some level of integrity.

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    1. I don't mind if my husband tells me I'm beautiful right after delivering a baby, but beyond that, there better be a darn good reason.

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  14. Integrity is something I look for in a friend. I hope I have it mastered in my own life, but I suppose we all slip up from time to time. About the time I think I am perfect, someone comes along and shows me I am not! :) Happy J Day!
    tm

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Hit me with your cheese!