Other Pointed Topics

Does Integrity Still Exist?

Integrity – Is it important to you? Recent events in my life have me question whether or not integrity, accountability, and empathy still exist today. And if so, are they valued traits in this day and age? My hope is people are not solely interested in their gratification or getting ahead that they feel justified in lying, unaccountability, cheating and omitting truths at the expense of others. So, I decided to reach out and conduct a poll to find out how people describe themselves to see if integrity and compassion are still out there. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Which gives me hope.

Humanity is not dead because technology continues to progress. In this fast-paced, cyberspace world we live in, people appear to have stronger relationships with their Smartphones than with real life, flesh and blood humans. Our phones have become an appendage. Have you ever felt naked in public because you left your phone at home and have to go through a full workday without it? You even forego going to the gym after work because you need to get home to get that damn phone because you feel lost without it? Okay, I haven’t gone that far but my life is in that phone. Nearly everything, including people, is accessible at your fingertips. However, that doesn’t mean the person on the opposite end of your text message is any less human. Technology can be a good lead-in to meeting new people and organizing outings with friends. One concern I’ve heard voiced time and time again is that we are loosing the ability to build personal connections. We are far too interested in getting what we want, when we want it, at lightning speed thanks to technology.

Trust in others is getting harder for me as I get older. For me, when it comes to meeting new people, the less trusting and more suspicious I’ve become. It’s unfortunate but true. I’ve had my share of sour apples ruining a bunch or two. We all have. But we need to remember not all apples are the same. It’s okay to be protective of yourself but refuse to let other people harden you by their behavior. My guard is currently up at an all time high, in fact, I think it is made of Teflon. I wish it were not the case. But I’m sure eventually it will come down to normal levels once again. I am also keenly aware that trust is something that needs to be earned. Once it’s broken, it’s a long, hard road to travel to rebuild it up again, if ever.

Courtesy is still considered a treasured quality. It’s good to know most people still value it. Flakiness, on the other hand, is a good way to ruin a friendship or new relationship. Contrary to belief, it’s not just reserved to California. We all have had good reason (or maybe not such a good reason), to flake on a friend or an event. Life happens sometimes, maybe you double booked, or perhaps you were preoccupied with work or a person. Whatever the case may be, we all have busy lives. Being better at time management is one way to solve the problem. That reminder app on your smartphone is a useful tool if you remember to use it. For some, however, they use the excuse “take me or leave me” and couldn’t care less about being courteous if they are running late or not attending at all. Which to the person on the other end comes off as: You are not important enough to fit you into my schedule, or I will get to you when I have the time. It’s not always intentional but when it is, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Assumptions are dangerous. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people categorize other people without getting to know them. People don’t fit nicely in a box even if you want to check them off. I’ve met a number of people from all over the world, and it amazes me that although we have cultural differences, we all have the same basic human tendencies, but each of us is a unique individual onto ourselves. So when someone says a snide comment like, “you know how women are,” I take offense. Did you forget for a moment that I am a woman?  The negative connotation does not refer to us as beautiful, educated, nurturing, unique, fantastic creatures. Rather, they prefer to group us all into a negative category of crazy, dramatic lunatics. I’m not saying those women are not out there, because, let’s face it; we all have seen at least one episode of the “The Real Housewives of Someplace.” We gals are not innocent either. Women also classify men and with good reason. I kid. Everyone is guilty of it. However, assuming every woman or man is the same is a dangerous and alienating place.

Respect others. Remember the golden rule — “…do unto others what you would have them do to you.” That applies in all relationships. Including dating. When it comes to dating and relationships, there are good ones out there. It’s just a matter of weeding out the wrong ones to get to the right one. I need an automatic weed whacker these days. I’m waiting for the lie detector online dating site. Wouldn’t that be fantastic? It requires you to wear a sensor when communicating with a potential date. So when you ask a question, if they lie, you get a warning notification each time: “So what do you do for a living?” “Engineer.” Siren sounds off with the words across your phone, tablet, or computer screen: WARNING – This man is lying. He is not an Engineer. “Have you ever been married?” “No.” WARNING: This man is currently married, he is not 6’1” tall as his profile indicates, and those pictures are six years old. Enter at your own risk. If anything, it would be entertaining. Maybe add an electric shock in there for dramatic impact. Also, if I hear the phrase “no promises” one more time, I’m going to lose it. Ladies, if someone throws you that line, RUN! No promises equals: “I don’t want a future with you, but I’m going to say this to you because it makes me feel better so that I, I mean we, keep things in perspective should I, I mean we, end this thing. Plus there will be no guilt on my end because I warned you up front.” Poppycock! When you say that to someone else, whether you want to believe it or not, you are devaluing that person for your benefit. And if they accept that for themselves, they get what they get. Been there, done that, moving on.

Lying – little white ones or otherwise, although sometimes an easy out, can backfire. It’s interesting to read about how lying impacts relationships and business. The consensus appears to be that lying in business versus personal is more acceptable. In business, sure little white lies may not be as harmful. It may put a vendor/client at ease, cover your ass when placed in a sticky situation or protect your role/position from a micromanaging boss or coworker. Lying for personal gain is frowned upon but, unfortunately, common. It is different when it comes to personal relationships. Telling white lies, omitting facts, or flat out lying is breaching a trust that may be irreparable. Has lying become such a part of daily life that omitting the truth or telling flat out lies is commonplace? I hope not. It appears people assume you are lying even when you are telling the truth these days.When it comes down to it, it’s best to be honest because any lie, big or small may turn around and bite you down the line. And is it really worth it?

Based on the sample of people who participated in my poll, here is what they had to say*:

  • When asked how accountable they feel they are: the majority are considerate of others, call ahead or text if they are running late, and follow through with what they say. Only 5% was not concerned about being courteous to call ahead if they had to bail out of an event. 5% felt people should be content with fitting into their schedule.
  • 84% said dishonesty is a deal breaker for the start of a new personal relationship. 32% said little white lies don’t count. When it comes to their work: 53% say they are honest at work, 26% said little white lies are okay. 26% assumed their boss lies every day. 21% say they fudge the truth from time to time.
  • 79% say they never intentionally hurt someone or put them in an awkward position. 53% say they are considerate to everyone including strangers. 58% are considerate to others until pushed to act otherwise.
  • On a scale from 1-10 when it comes to courtesy, the majority said they were an 8.
  • 53% said they had flaked on a friend.
  • 74% said they always RSVP to events.
  • 74% said they would never knowingly date a married person. 43% have too much respect for themselves. Sadly, 16% said depends on the circumstances. Married = married.
  • 53% said they would never cheat on a significant other. 27% have had it done to them so they would never. 21% said they had been tempted but never acted on it. 16% had but felt horrible about it.
  • 79% said if they hurt someone intentionally or unintentionally, they apologize. Even if they did nothing wrong. 16% may feel horrible but sweep it under the rug until the person brings it up. 6% apologize begrudgingly.

*Results do not =100% in each category as those polled could choose multiple responses.

Thank you to all who took the poll. I appreciate it. It’s nice to see the majority of you are stand up humans. Thank you!

You can’t control what people do but you can control how they influence your life. In the words of Taylor Swift… and, yes I’m quoting Taylor Swift: “Players going play, haters going to hate baby, heartbreakers going to break, fakers going to fake baby… shake it off!” Random acts of kindness and good deeds happen every day in this world and prove integrity, courtesy, care and humanity still exist. Now, go forward and carry on with integrity!


By| Gina Cafasso

One thought on “Does Integrity Still Exist?

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