I was reading The Meaning of Human Existence by Wilson and came across an excellent question:
What’s the price of admission to your tribe?
The question got me thinking about the ways that groups enforce conformity and create cohesion.
Here are two areas where my groups have led me astray…
Groups that push me to perform external actions that are different than my internal values — examples here would be the executive that complains that she has to lie as part of her job; or selling a product that hurts people; or working alongside people we don’t respect.
These situations lack integrity because we are choosing to ignore our internal reality in an effort to fit in externally. It’s a stressful situation and most of us adjust by changing our internal reality.
A gradual loss of integrity is how my criminal pals became crooks.
The second thing to watch is the temptation to trade health for money.
Despite having a long-term habit of good choices, I feel this temptation daily! It takes effort for me to protect my healthy living routine (sleep, exercise, stress, nutrition, positive connection to others). The sensation of hanging-on-by-a-thread is something that’s been with me for many years.
Parents, mentors, coaches, bosses, organizations, religions… when our leaders offer us money, fame or recognition for going against what feels right… start working on an exit strategy!
Two of my favorite questions for my kids…
- What do you feel?
- What do you think?
A life of integrity is built on harmony between our external actions and internal lives.
It takes effort to look inwards, rather than default to the external dogma of our tribe.
What are the values of the people closest to you?