“The more coherent one becomes within oneself as a creature, the more one fully enters into the communion of all creatures.”
When my daughter was in elementary school one of her classrooms had the following sign over the door:
THE DOOR OF INTEGRITY:
I am responsible for everything I think, say, do and feel.
In my memory of it I cannot help but recall Viktor Frankl’s challenge to us when he writes, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
And, I would add, in our response lies our integrity, the evidence of our more or less cohesive self.
How incredible that we get to choose! That we, alone among creatures, have the opportunity to reflect on our impulses and find even more effective ways to interact with the world. Wendell Berry reminds us that this effort is never for its own sake but that the deepening of personal understanding is at once the strengthening of connection with everyone and everything around us.
In these days of uncertainty, anxiety, simplicity and grounding may you access your deepest possible expression of integrity. And, however difficult it may be to swallow in the moment, may the aftertaste of personal responsibility be a savory accompaniment to the freedom you will have so rightly earned.
The best thing about the “Door of Integrity” is that however small it may seem, there is just enough room for all of us to squeeze through.
I look forward to greeting you on the other side.
This is #45 in the series, “50 Ideas Worth Fighting For.” Here’s a piece on organizational culture you might mind valuable today.
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