Monday 8 August 2016

Global Integrity—15

Integrity Needs External Referents
Moral wholeness for a whole world

"Please don't go, please don't leave me alone.
A mirror is so much harder to hold."
Jon Foreman (click here for song and lyrics)

Integrity is moral wholeness—living consistently in moral wholeness. Its opposite is corruption, the distortion, perversion, and deterioration of moral goodness, resulting in the exploitation of people. Global integrity is moral wholeness at all levels in our world—from the individual to the institutional to the international. Global integrity is requisite for “building the future we want—being the people we need.” It is not easy, it is not always black and white, and it can be risky. These entries explore the many facets of integrity with a view towards the global efforts to promote sustainable development and wellbeing.

Integrity needs external referents. Why? Because of the human propensity to self-justify and self-deceive. Integrity cannot just be based on only an inner sense of congruence—the sense of having aligned one’s values with one’s actions. Why? Because one’s values may not be entirely moral, and one’s perception of inner congruence may not be entirely accurate. So, trust yourself but do not completely trust yourself. We need external moral and accountability referents to hold up the mirror, to help us appraise our levels of integrity. See also the entry from 25 February 2016, Facing Ourselves.

We define integrity as living consistently in moral wholeness (an ideal). Practically, though,  it involves endeavoring to live consistently in moral wholeness (the day in and day out reality). Here are three additional areas to further strengthen living consistently in integrity.

--I am aware that I am not always aware how I distort and bias my moral self-appraisals
--I do my best to admit mistakes and wrongdoing

External Morals
--I can clearly clarify the main external referents that guide my moral values and ethical principles
--I am committed to internalize and follow these moral values and ethical principles

External Accountability
--I entrust myself to specific people and processes for scrutiny and accountability
--I use resources to help me grow in integrity

--Which of the three areas above are you strongest in or weakest?
--How would you adjust or add to the items above? 

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