A Man of Integrity

26 Aug

Michelle and I have many heroes. Perhaps the most notable of those heroes we share is the man Mahatma Gandhi. Hopefully my readers already know his story. Gandhi led a spirited, non-violent, nationwide resistance to the tyranny of Great Britain in India, fighting for the rights of his people. Gandhi stood for the truth, freedom, faith, and self-government. He held many high ideals that many of his contemporaries, and certainly British officials could not understand. They attacked him, imprisoned him, beat him, and then eventually, let him become the change he envisioned for India.

There is one quote that sticks out in our minds when we think of Gandhi:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Being two people of principle, we are idealists who strive to make our world a better place. We are sick of the lies and deception all around us in our world, those lies that hold us captive to a broken system, that steal our lives and give nothing back. As activists, it is important for us to embody Gandhi’s message of being the change we want to see.

One of my old bosses, Mr. Medearis, once gave me a little advice. This man spoke very little, but his advice is something I will never forget. He told me to set high expectations of others and of myself and to never give in to the resistance of others or of my own self to settle for lowered expectations instead. To this day, I attempt to live by this advice, in my personal relationships, in my business dealings, in my activist work and in my spiritual endeavors. Not settling for lowered expectations is a difficult task full of lots of internal and external resistance. It is certainly an easier path to settle for less.

My dad always told me to never do anything “half-assed”. He told me that life is difficult and especially more so if you’re doing things the right way. There is no quick rise to real success. That path is littered with the debris of others’ resistance, obstacles, and small trivialities that offer to appease the mind and keep it from reaching greatness. I refuse to settle for anything less than greatness. To some, that seems ridiculous, to some it seems obsessive and to others it seems downright insane. To the few, it seems the only worthwhile thing to stand for.

If people stood up for what was right, if they stood up for honesty, integrity, transparency and truth in all of their endeavors, can you imagine what the world would look like? Can you imagine all of the people, living life in peace?

Resistance comes from those who would sacrifice ideals for pettiness, honesty for deceit, integrity for manipulation, not from those who stand up against those resisting forces. And the resistance is far greater than the support, in almost all walks of life.

The final quote we’d like to leave you with is this:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” ~ Gandhi

Ignore us, laugh at us, fight with us all you want, but the principle of truth remains undeterred in our hearts. In this, we will prevail no matter the outcome, because we stand for what is right. Are we elevating our cause to that of Gandhi’s? No. Do we think our cause is of any less importance n our personal life? No. Because it’s the little things that make a man/woman, those small choices we make that bring to our lives success or failures. What does a man profit if he gains the world and loses his soul? We choose not to be liars, deceivers, manipulators. We choose to tell the truth no matter if people hate us, spit at us, ridicule us, trample us, or expect us to fall in line with the rest of the scoundrels. In the end, you’ll see, we’re the best thing that ever happened your way.

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Posted by on August 26, 2010 in Philosophical Ponderings, Spiritual, thoughts


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