The Price of Integrity

box packed truth

Wouldn’t that be nice – a box packed with truth

Perhaps the most disappointing thing to realize as a child matures into an adult are the lies one accepts as part of their daily life. Choosing to tell the truth for some is such a foreign activity that they’re no longer capable of discerning fact from fiction. Evidently, many people find the cost of integrity too high and settle on the alternative. Almost everyday when you read, watch or listen to something, you have to question whether it’s true or false. Sometimes we are so overexposed to lies, we begin to think everything is a work of falsehood or fiction. That’s a real problem which taken in its entirety, means many of us live in such a constant barrage of doubts and falsehood, we may never know truth from fiction.

There are so many examples readily available to the public on the lack of integrity in statement & activity. For example, when you watch a movie which required the use of animals, you’re going to see a statement in the credits which says something like this; No animals were harmed in the making of this film. The American Humane Association, trademarked the phrase. The AHA set up a committee to investigate abuse of animals used in films and later in television programs in the early 1940’s. Now an article in the Hollywood Reporter reveals oversight meant to protect animals used in films has actually become complicit in their harm.

In an on-line description in Mental Floss, an explanation was given as to the responsibilities of the AHA. When you read it, it reads with credibility as an answer to the question.  It reads as though the author had unique insight as to how the organization functions. Of course when you read it now, its sounds like a promotional release with no research other than a brochure designed to deceive the public.

A Wall Street Journal article describes how an individual buys a 1000 twitter accounts from an offshore site and uses them through an automated process to follow someone trying to help them gain popularity. These robot accounts according to the person making the purchase says, “It’s part of the game.”  The rebroadcast twitter feeds combined with Twitter ads, boost his profile. So even fame is artificial. Who would have thought that to be true? (tongue firmly in cheek).

integrity tombstone

A Tombstone on Integrity

A Journalist Organization called, Center for Public Integrity, was started in 1999 to be a watch dog on public official conduct. Their mission statement; “To serve democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of public trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.” Having no experience with them, I can’t suggest they are doing their job or not, but it’s certainly a worthy goal to be a partner in a group that truly believes in the 1st amendment.

I’m not able to write sufficiently on politics or religion in this brief post. My experience reveals to me that each category have some very strong adherents willing to do whatever it takes to purport their view is the correct one. Self deception runs high for many involved in each system. Each have their merits and truth, but it’s also equally easy to get caught up with the collective myth of each as well.

You might find this review helpful to shed light on belief systems & politics. I suggest you listen to this program run on Sundays from NPR – TEDTalks. Here’s an excerpt from Devdutt Pattanaik’s TEDTalk – “My truth is my truth. Your truth is your truth. And 6 billion people on this planet have 6 billion truths. And you believe your truth is the true. I believe my truth is the truth and that’s why we argue.”

PATTANAIK: “And so the next time you meet someone, a stranger – one request. Understand that you live in the subjective truth and so does he. Understand it. And when you understand it, you will discover something spectacular. You will discover that within infinite myths lies the eternal truth.”