Given the current media trend to broadcast the depressing stories of fallen heroes and leaders (politicians, CEO’s, media celebrities, sports stars, etc.) that have succumbed to public humiliation and the ultimate loss of not only their worldly status but more importantly their INTEGRITY, I was compelled to search the inner library of my soul for a good definition of integrity—so that I can recognize it if I ever see it walking up the street some sunny day.
What I discovered however was that integrity alone is a very funny thing. It’s as elusive as luck, as valuable as money, and as important as your social security number. You won’t get hired simply because you’ve got it, but it could cost you your career if you lose it. Sometimesyou care about it, sometimes you don’t. You never weigh it, because it represents the shape your character is in, and when was the last time your character had a complete physical? However, if it’s total bliss and happiness we want, if we’re looking for a smoke-free, crime-free, AIDS-free, cancer-free, clean, loving, wonderful environment, where all humans are fed, rain forests flourish and politicians are…umm…trustworthy, then we’re going to need something much bigger than even integrity (and integrity’s pretty big). We’re going to have to move up to PROBITY!
I’ve discovered that Probity’s beyond Integrity. It’s the other side of Integrity—like the far side of the moon. If Integrity is being the best you can possibly be, then Probity moves in and improves on it. If Integrity’s a winner, Probity’s a champion. If Integrity and Probity had a foot race Probity would win, then during the press conference she would acknowledge Integrity for setting a record breaking pace. Probity is Integrity on a mission—Mission Impossible. If Integrity means being committed, Probity means being committed to your commitments. If an act of Integrity is noble, an act of Probity is courageous and risky. If Integrity means showing up for the job on time, Probity means seeing to it that the work you do makes a difference…and has Integrity. If Integrity means being healthy, Probity means teaching people the many benefits of balancing your mind, body and Spirit. When Integrity takes the high road, Probity takes a jet. If Integrity’s being true to yourself, Probity’s being true to others…too. Probity reaches far beyond Integrity into the next room, where Humility lives, then politely knocks on Humility’s door and offers a compliment. If you were invited into the home of Integrity, Probity would be in the kitchen making hors d’oeuvres, because Probity has no time for pride, and is totally ego-free. If Integrity represents your beliefs, then Probity represents your higher ideals, your higher standards, your higher Self, as well as the fact you don’t get high anymore. It also represents how low you would stoop to help a friend…or a foe. If Integrity is being honest, then Probity is being committed to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me me!
So I am no longer looking for integrity anymore—in people, events, situations or politicians. It’s too easy to fake. I am now watching out for random and spontaneous glimpses of Probity in who ever I meet and what ever I do.