Morality or Integrity: A Quaker Letter

Dear Friends,

At 3am, wide awake and wishing to get some sleep before morning, I wondered how many people have philosophical debates with themselves in the wee hours, trying the whole time to not get “involved” so that relaxation can induce sleep.

This early morning it was my time to explore the difference between morality and integrity–without having my feet hit the floor and go in search of a dictionary.

[Why am I dwelling on the differences between morality and integrity?  I think, at this moment,  it’s due to the political climate that uses MORAL determination to make judgements, which leads to labeling and stigmatizing those who have failed to achieve or judged to fail–satisfactory marks.  My Quaker testimony asks for Integrity.  Why didn’t my Quakers of 350 years ago dictate that I should use Morality as my guide, rather than Integrity?]

So before a dictionary definition was ascertained, I decided that morality is based upon a judgement, determined by an interpretation of religious or lawful text.  Integrity is that indefinable human trait/quality that determines right and wrong that holds Homo sapiens above the rest of the animal kingdom.

Now to the dictionary (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate):

Moral implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong.”

Integrity: firm adherence to a code of esp. moral or artistic values: Incorruptibility; the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness–see honesty.”

What politicians rarely refer to is “INTEGRITY,” and I can see why.  Without  a sanctioned written text to use as the “higher authority,”how does one justify one’s actions of “acting with honesty in doing ‘what was right?'”

I believe that the ability to have the courage to do what is right, without having this action being determined/justified/sanctioned by accepted written text, is a character trait that is uncommon for many.

At 3am and now in full daylight, I am certain that I would like more people, and certainly those called to service, to demonstrate Integrity, rather than resort to the verbal admonitions of morality, which promote a “better than them” platform for political fervor.

My queries for this First Day are:

  1. Do I live with Integrity in my heart and in my actions?
  2.  Do I quietly role model Integrity to those I live with and to those who do not know me?

Be gentle with yourself and those you love.

This entry was posted in Connecting, My Quaker Mail Bag, Quaker and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Morality or Integrity: A Quaker Letter

  1. Charles says:

    Awesome. Thank you.

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