Do you know what is behind every decision and every action we take? It’s our integrity. Integrity is the currency of our lives. When we act with integrity, we’re paying our way in life with a type of money we keep in our moral wallet. Each piece of currency represents some guideline that we use, consciously or subconsciously, every day of our lives. When we use this currency consistently, people know they can bank on us doing the right thing.
When we cut a moral corner, it’s like we’re putting counterfeit money into our wallets, where it gets mixed in with the integrity money that we pull out later. We tell ourselves we’re not hurting anyone. That’s not true.
Over time, the wallet becomes filled with counterfeit currency, until we have nothing left with which to pay for living with integrity. We hurt ourselves when we live a counterfeit life because others see our counterfeit actions and lose respect for us. More importantly, we lose respect for ourselves.
To keep myself on track and to help me know whether I’m living with integrity, I spend a few minutes now and again checking what’s in my moral wallet. What’s in my wallet isn’t necessarily the same as what’s in your wallet, and that’s just fine because we all live according to our own values. Here’s the integrity currency I use to pay my way in life:
Commitment to my boundaries and my needs
Respect for all others
Reverence for God
Expression of my authentic self
Nobility in my actions
Compliance with laws
Yes as my mindset
I’m posting this list here as a reminder to myself of what I need to carry around with me, and to examine my own behavior from time to time to see if there’s any counterfeit bills in my moral wallet. I confess, from time to time I find a few that I need to clean out. I also inevitably find that one moral bill that I’d tucked away in a corner and forgotten about, just at the time when I can really use it.
I hope my list helps you create your own list. Tell me, what’s in your wallet?
Life Is Honest, Open and True: When we have integrity, we keep ourselves strong by acting in ways consistent with what we know to be right or wrong. Take a few minutes this week to write down the integrity currency you keep in your moral wallet, and then keep the list where you can refer to it whenever you’re struggling to make a tough decision. That way, it’ll be easier to identify any counterfeit currency that may steal in to your moral wallet.
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