In today’s world, there is tremendous pressure to line up on one side or the other of the socio/political, and even religious, divide. It is no longer a spectrum; it is, rather, a tangible divide. The shades of gray that make up the actual realities of our lives are forsaken for the socially expedient alignment of ourselves on the ‘appropriate’ side of an issue. And appropriate is determined more by ones affiliation of friends and acquaintances than it is by one’s inner compass. Compromise is considered weak, and independent thinking is viewed as betrayal. It permeates our government like a bad disease, and filters right on down to the neighborhoods.
People have disagreements on ‘moral’ issues. They always have. They also disagree on social issues, the need for, and manner of, addressing them, and even the necessity for solutions. People make social issues into moral issues, and they make moral issues into social issues. Maybe every moral issue is also a social issue, and every social issue a moral one, I don’t know. But perspectives do overlap, and it is seldom that part of an issue cannot be shared by both points of view. It is also seldom, however, that one position will allow room for the other. That’s a shame. We are all diminished by that disallowance.
Disagreement is no cause for alignment in totally separate camps, which end up throwing insults at one another like some incarcerated crazies might throw shit at the wall.
Life is not black and white, except to someone of limited capacity. It really does consist of shades of gray. It’s funny how one will be so quick to adopt an issue as black and white, but will be more than willing for personal integrity to move around in shades of gray, landing on whichever shade may prove to be financially or socially expedient, and thus, beneficial to that person.
Integrity, however, is the one intention that does need to be expressed in black and white. It is the scale upon which everything can be weighed and measured. If integrity is intact the rest tends to take care of itself. It becomes no longer about being right, but rather about being true, true to ones core values, and, thus, true to oneself. It does not allow for a whole lot of gray. Were integrity to rule our lives, our politics, and our religion, it would be surprising how many of us would find common ground.
Regarding personal integrity, as clichéd as the phrase is today, it bears repeating. “It Is What It Is”; a true reflection of one’s alignment with their own soul.
Many people would like to reprogram the inner core of others, but effectively deny the voice that quietly speaks to them from within themselves. It is really just evidence of one’s own deficiency. I’m not talking about behavior. Behavior can turn a deaf ear to that inner voice. I’m talking about the inner voice itself, the living conscience from which integrity emerges like a sunrise out of the darkness.
If honesty reigns on the inside, then, to be sure, integrity will rain on the outside.
To be continued: