I have been very blessed along my path in life to have been given great examples of integrity and I have also had examples of hypocrisy. My brother, the Eagle Scout, has great integrity, my dad had great integrity, my father-in-law had great integrity, and my grandfather had great integrity. My father-in-law Maurice Lincoln Murphey was a very successful businessman, he was as consistent and steady a man as I have ever witnessed. He was brutally honest and demanded high standards of professional conduct from his employees and colleagues. I often think about what he would do when I am in business situations where I feel I am on shaky moral ground. I feel I need to admit here (staying in integrity) that I would have been fired by Maurice if I worked for him, I tend to be late a lot and I tend to be easily distracted. He was well-known for locking the doors at board meetings so those that did not show up on time would not make the meeting. He was also not in business in the era of cell phones but I am quite certain if he was around now he would make people check them at the door.
I have tried to stay on the high road, so to speak, in my business dealings. Meaning I have tried to conduct business while staying in integrity with high moral and ethical standards. In my humanness I have failed along the way, sometimes miserably. Each time I have let myself down I have learned from it, and as I have matured I have come to realize that integrity is so much more important that short-term gains.
Occasionally, I can spot individuals who through past actions have demonstrated a pattern of hypocrisy or a poor moral compass. When I encounter such individuals I wish them well but make the choice not to do business with them. Sometimes it has been a very difficult decision because it has meant losing potential revenue. However, while it is difficult at the time I have never regretted the decision later. Those individuals are very easy to spot because they are flagrant with their lack of integrity. I am currently dealing with a situation where someone I felt had high integrity has engaged in a series of actions that are, well to be honest, down right dirty. Ok so I take a step back and when I heard of the first act of duplicity I was disappointed but also had to be honest that I have fallen too, we are all human. Then I found out about several more instances of chicanery, so now this is not an isolated incident, a pattern is emerging. Damn, I really like this person I thought they were my friend, crap, so now what do I do? Well my first response was to go into my favorite martyr role, for goodness sake doesn’t she know what a shitty year I have had and yet she is doing this to me and my company. As always that accomplished nothing but made me feel worst, I just felt pitiful and ridiculous. In all honesty, I have to admit I am sad and extremely disappointed. I have been grieving a lot lately and my reaction to this situation follows the grieving process strangely enough. First I was in disbelief or denial; no she didn’t do this or she had no knowledge of this someone else did it, no unfortunately she did it, ok so then I was pissed, then depressed, what does that mean to our friendship, then sadness that something has changed significantly, my trust is gone. In the end I do have compassion. What I have learned about myself is that no matter how upset or angry I am at anyone I always have room for compassion.
I truly believe you reap you sow, therefore, I am choosing to bless this person and send them on their way. It is the journey they are on and for some reason they need to go through this to learn a particular lesson. It has also served to remind me why I am making the choices I am and why I need to continue on the path I am on. I am on my own journey and I have my own work to do. So I will leave others to do their work and I will do mine.
This is what I know to be true; when I am staying in alignment with good moral and ethical standards, I feel pretty good. When I make decisions that are not in alignment with high ethical standards I feel regret and well, basically, I feel pretty crappy. It may not always be easy but it is simple.