Like so many people, I was aghast at the news out of Penn State last week. The whole ugly travesty is a classic case study in stress and character (how NOT to act in the face of stress!) How can anyone think they can protect a reputation by sacrificing integrity is inconceivable (isn’t integrity the foundation of one’s reputation?), yet it seems to happen all too often. Ungrounded, stress (anger, fear or more likely both) will certainly cloud one’s thinking, distort one’s level of rational thinking, and ultimately hijack one character. In the face of stressful events, we always have a choice; the path of the coward, or the path of the hero. The path of the hero is not an easy one, the path of the coward is easy (but ultimately, no less stressful). Character, it is said, is how you act, when no one else is around. Integrity is an inner resource that we all have, the question is, do we exercise it? By not doing so, it atrophies. The triumph of the human spirit only rises when integrity is the foundation of one’s character.
Stress Tip for the Day:
Exercise your muscle of integrity today. Do some soul searching today to shed light on any behaviors that need recalibrating, out of fear-based thinking redirected toward acts of compassion. Make it habit to find your voice and speak out against injustice, if nothing more, than by example. Let your actions speak to the integrity of your character. As Gandhi once said, “My life is my message.” Be a good message!
Links, Movies and Books worth Noting:
If you haven’t seen the documentary, Inside Job, please rent it. It will not only explain the whole financial mess, but it too, is a case study of lack of integrity (and sadly, these people are still walking the streets.)
Quote for the Day:
“The best index to a person’s character is (a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.” — Dear Abby (Abigail Van Burren)
Photo for the Day:
There is much ugliness in the world today, yet there is much beauty as well. The search for and pleasure of beauty isn’t a denial of the ugliness, it merely helps keep it in perspective. I took this photo while flying over the Italian Alps on my way to Tuscany this fall. Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the forthcoming, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.