Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Practical Inner Integrity

I come across the need to explain inner integrity to many of my contacts.  It is hard to define, but is simple enough to practice.  I'll try to explain with a couple of examples with two people and events in their lives.

This person is middle aged and had physical ailments that is typical of middle age.  He was working for one of the biggest IT companies in the country.  His commute to work has been a problem.  On spending long hours in the commute, he developed back pain.  He went to a doctor.  The doctor prescribed some medicines and advised good rest.  After resting for a week, he felt a bit better, but was not totally alright.  He went for a check-up again.  The doctor advised some more rest if he can.  Our man thought that he can't rest anymore.  He wanted to believe that he can't afford to take any more rest, though he very well knew that nothing is affected at his workplace on his absence.  He probably thought - "What would my co-workers think of me if I'm off for such a long time? what would my kids think if I stay at home?".  He chose to live with the pain instead of being honest about his health.  He spent more time with the pain, sulking.

Another person I met recently told about how he swallowed his wish to study engineering and ended up studying Mathematics.  He probably felt that he made a sacrifice when he didn't express his wish and saved his father's money.  His father is a reasonable man and would have given a patient hearing if his son wanted one.  The father was clear about his son's capabilities.  The kid might have still ended up in a Mathematics course.  But would have given a chance to his father to explain why that was the right decision, had he expressed his wish.  That would have a given a closure to the wish.  But the son chose to hide his wish and spend the entire life about the sacrifice that wasn't there.

My simple definition of inner integrity:  Attend to your body and feelings.  They are more authentic than the thoughts and reasoning.  You may still decide to go with the reason, but listen to the authentic sources as well.