As an old fart, retired military, and retired .gov contractor, I don’t have a lot left…
BUT, I have always prided myself on three things, my honesty, my integrity, and my professionalism. When you come right down to it, that is what makes me who I am, and marks what I stand for.
Honesty- Be free from fraud or deception : legitimate, truthful
Integrity- The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness
Professionalism- The competence or skill expected of a professional
Yes, honesty and integrity are ‘interchangeable’ to an extent, but they are two different approaches.
Most of that comes from my family and the way I was raised. It was ‘fine tuned’ by my military career as an aviator. You tell the truth, you own up to your mistakes, you don’t jeopardize others by ‘ignoring’ things, and most importantly, you take care of your sailors.
When you go into the ‘real world’ outside the military, it’s professionalism that gets reviewed the most. You take the man’s money, you give the man an honest day’s work, first and foremost. That is the basis for your reputation. If you make agreements, you do your damndest to stand by those agreements, that’s the second part- Can you be trusted. The third part is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching. That’s taking care of your people, not for praise, but because it’s the right thing to do. The same with people you work with outside your organization. It’s loyalty up, and the expectation you will have loyalty down (seems to be passe today, sadly).
Sadly, I don’t see a lot of these ‘values’ in the younger generation. Both my daughters have thanked me for the way they were raised. I didn’t hide things from them, or try to ‘protect’ them from the real world. Things happen. I never ignored those things, they were dealt with openly, even when they weren’t pretty, or necessarily things young girls should be seeing. Of course that’s caused them some problems, since they adopted ‘my’ attitudes, which don’t necessarily agree with those of their peers… Sorry kids.
None of us are irreplaceable, it’s like the bucket full of water. Stick your finger in, you displace a little water (very little), pull your finger out, there is maybe ‘one’ ripple, but there is no hole in the water. Once you accept that, and the fact that regardless of how good you are, there is always somebody better, life gets a lot easier.
Too many people put so much pressure on themselves they literally work themselves into serious medical issues, or they collapse under the pressure, which can take many forms, including ‘go along to get along’, or ‘don’t rock the boat’, especially in the work environment.
I would end this rambling with this old analogy.
Put a frog in a vessel of water and start heating the water. As the temperature of the water rises, the frog is able to adjust its body temperature accordingly. The frog keeps on adjusting with increase in temperature…
Just when the water is about to reach boiling point, the frog is not able to adjust anymore… At that point the frog decides to jump out… The frog tries to jump but is unable to do so, because it has lost all its strength in adjusting with the rising water temperature…
Very soon the frog dies. What killed the frog? Many of us would say the boiling water…
But the truth is what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when it had to jump out. We all need to adjust with people and situations, but we need to be sure when we need to adjust and when we need to confront/face.
There are times when we need to face the situation and take the appropriate action… If we allow people to exploit us physically, mentally, emotionally or financially, they will continue to do so…
We have to decide when to jump. Let us jump while we still have the strength.
Now back to the regularly scheduled brain drivel… 🙂