We are living in some very confusing and dramatic times. A time that abounds with great chaos and discontent. If one takes the time to stand back and observe, they would clearly see that one of the things that is facilitating or driving this is individual character. The NHR motto states, Empowering Youth to Realize Phenomenal Potential. With that said, we must understand that empowerment comes through the full understanding of how things interact with each other, and not just from a physical sense or perspective.
I find it very interesting that as I was sitting here pondering what I was going to write on this subject, many things started to surface. For example, it was a little over a year ago that I had written and posted an article on the professional networking / social media site LinkedIn on this subject. Here is what I wrote at that time:
From my observation, within our society, there’s a character trait that seems to have taken a major hit over the past four decades, though the initiation of that decline started in the early 60s. That trait is INTEGRITY. Why? Because the mantra or mindset of if it makes you happy (feel good) do it. This was closely followed by the mindset of, do whatever it takes to get ahead or get yours. This fosters a careless disregard for the consequences to come. This was the catalyst for the me and microwave / instant gratification mindset.
Over the past four decades, we’ve all witnessed on a steadily increasing basis, the following in various forms; dishonest news reporting, corrupt politicians, individual’s selling company proprietary information and trade secrets, authority figures having inappropriate relationships, work place fraud, and the list goes on and on.
I propose that if people would to look at INTEGRITY as an acronym, as a mnemonic, it could actually help them to see the significance of this matter; not only for themselves as the individual, but for the society as a whole.
Integrity, if assessed identifies the following points.
Internal (specific to the core of the person)
No Compromise (key element)
Ethical (unquestionable output)
Grounded (solid foundation)
Impactful (true Leadership – by example)
Timeless Truth (spiritual / philosophical)
You (full circle subject – starts and ends with the individual).
New Hope Rising, Inc. (NHR) (2019)
Another thing that I came across earlier today related to a post Facebook, which relates to this topic. It was a quote from an unknown source that said, “Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does” (Quotespedia). After I read that post, I responded that this was in fact a contradicting statement, as it is our beliefs that at the core develops one’s character. Let me explain. Every conscious action starts with a thought; even those we have developed into automatic or what is referred to as a conditioned response. Here is the continuum: Thought leads to action. An action repeated becomes a habit, and habit reinforced becomes the character of the person.
Integrity is defined as 1) firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility, 2) an unimpaired condition: soundness, or 3) the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness (Merriam-Webster).
Bottom line is this, integrity simplified is doing the right thing even when there is no one there to see or correct you. Also, a person of integrity is not easily swayed or driven off focus.
Interestingly, definition 3 sounds a lot like being grounded, which as you know is a foundational element of NHR. For those who are new here and have not heard of this, here’s the recap of what the acronym GROUNDED (Kidd, 2017) stands for.
First, we must recognize God, and that He IS. He is what? He is the One who not only created you, but did so with a very specific purpose in mind. He’s also the One who provided His Son, Jesus as not only our gift of salvation, but as a human example of Him; for us to see and understand that we as His creation is only limited to and by what we choose to believe.
Next is the matter of Respect. First, it is a matter of respect for Him as He gave us life. Respect for Jesus, for He gave us life more abundantly. For ourselves, for we are the greatest of all of the Creator’s creations. Why? Because we were created in His image, with a purpose and that purpose is to be a blessing to others who don’t know Him; to walk out His peace and love.
Next is Observant – be cognizant (aware) of your surroundings for your safety as well as that of others. Be alert to the things that are going on around you in the physical, which in reality is much more than many often give thought to.
Next is Understanding. Understand who your life and choices not only effect and or affect you, but others, both close to us and those we’ve possibly haven’t and may never meet.
Next is New Experiences. If you don’t like where you’re at – then YOU MUST CHANGE IT. Don’t lower your standards to live down to someone else’s expectations, but rather use that as motivation to propel you to a new destiny. Don’t practice insanity; doing the same thing over and over again, and yet expect a different result.
Next is Diligence; giving strict attention to and pursuing after the important. Look at what will make a radically positive change in your life, not just for today or tomorrow, but one that is long lasting as well.
Next is Education. Education is all around you and it is continually making itself available to us. Especially in the information age in which we live. Just be smart enough to apply the previously mentioned elements of O, U, and N, so that you’re not taken advantage of.
And finally, we have Daily Effort. Though similar to diligence it is different in that diligence is more precise and focused. Whereas, daily effort is more general and all encompassing.
In the opening of this blog, I stated, “we must understand that empowerment comes through the full understanding of how things interact with each other.” If we operate only by what the world tells us, we will never be fully empowered. Full empowerment is based on the understanding that God, The Creator (Elohim) has provided mankind. God has called His people to not walk in the ways of this world (I John 2:15-17) which is full of lies, deceit, and treachery. There are many who live focused on fulfilling their own desires; being lovers of self, seeking fame, possessions and wealth (II Timothy 3:1-5). But there is something far more important that we should be seeking, Truth. But not just any perceived version as the world would offer, but rather the real truth that is in Christ Jesus. What is your focus on? Although there are people in this world who try their best to walk uprightly (Psalms 15:2) for which there are absolute benefits for those who do (Psalm 84:11), as it’s tied to wisdom (Proverbs 2), even the best fail. But the good news is that those in Jesus are redeemed and even when we fail, there is redemption and restoration (Psalm 107:2, and Colossians 1:13-14). He stands at the door and knocks, waiting to be received (John 14:23 and Revelation 3:20).
References and Resources:
Integrity. In The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/integrity
Kidd, R. (2017). The Young Person’s Survival Manual: How to Survive in Today’s Ever-Changing World. ISBN: 9781629528953. Xulon Press. Maitland, FL.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version (1985). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.