If we are not ashamed to think it, we should not be ashamed to say it. – Cicero
What does that mean?
This quote is all about our morals, our values, and the potential for a dichotomy between how we act and how we think. Is it fine to wish someone dead in your mind, if you would not be willing to do so out loud?
That is the crux of this quote. How many of us think things we would be embarrassed to say out loud? Or say things in private that would cause us shame if they were made public?
The quote is about keeping our mind at least as clean as what we say. While some have fairly low standards in their public discourse, I imagine most of you will find bringing your mind up to the level of your public discourse.
Putting the quote together backwards, if we are ashamed to say it out loud in public, before our family and friends, we shouldn’t be thinking it in the first place, right? I believe this to be a very worthy goal, do you?
Why is integrity important?
Integrity is defined at TheFreeDictionary as “Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.” To me, that’s what the quote is about. Being the exact same person inside as we are on the outside. No false fronts, no pretending. The real you, through and through.
Think it through, could you be a person of integrity when you would say one thing and yet at the same time be thinking another? I don’t believe that it would be possible, unless it was a deliberate form of acting.
While many people act out the parts they believe their family, friends, or society expects of them, that’s not the way integrity works, is it? Society has expectations which act as guard rails, but sometimes they need to be challenged. There will be consequences, but sometimes the guard rails need to be removed.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Being true to our inner selves means acting on the outside as we believe on the inside. If all we are doing is acting as we believe the world expects us to act, we are betraying our inner self. If this is the case then at some point a choice must be made between who we believe we are, and what we think society expects of us.
If that’s not the case, if your beliefs align fairly well with what society expects, then it is still important to get everything organized. What about your different social groups, are all of them in alignment with who you are, or are some of them in conflict?
Are there any points in the day where you have to become someone other than who you are in order to get along? How many of you said “At work!” as your answer? I said it a few times early in life, but I worked different jobs and went to school to train for my dream job. I don’t say “at work” anymore.
There are three solutions to a dissonant situation: remove yourself from the situation, change yourself to match them, or change them to match you. I listed them from easiest to hardest to do, at least in my view. Which you try to do, and which you end up doing in the end, is up to you.
However, if you truly believe you are right and they are not, can you really walk away, or should you try to change them? That is the question of morals and integrity. That will depend on the situation and how firmly you believe in yourself.
Take a moment and consider the times when the real you on the inside is in conflict with the you on the outside? When do you say things you don’t really believe, just to fit in? When do you think things you know you shouldn’t say, and how embarrassed are you to have even thought them?
How often do you do these things? What thoughts do you have as you deal with the tension cause by not being true to yourself? What steps have you taken in the past to reduce or eliminate these situations? What steps are you willing to take to reduce or eliminate them in the future?
It is your life, and you are the one who has to live with it. Your choices and your beliefs will, I hope, remain in harmony. It is my wish that you always say and think the same things, and act in accordance with the true nature of your best-possible-self.
Be the real you, through and through. It will take some work, but it’s something I’m sure you can do.
From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marcustull133833.html
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