“A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.” My mother used to always tell us that lying is harder than telling the truth because if you tell one lie, you usually have to tell another one to cover the first one you told and then another and pretty soon you lose track of the lies you’ve told. At that point, you become a liar and no one can believe a thing that you have to say. It usually takes a lifetime to build a reputation of respect, trust and integrity. Like building a house, you begin with a strong foundation and you methodically construct a frame, install the infrastructure of wiring and plumbing. It takes time and effort. It is an investment of energy and resources, and it can all be destroyed in an instant.
“Be more concerned about your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” –John Wooden
People are easily fooled into believing things that are not true. We live in a culture that wants to hold on to its “beliefs” even when the FACTS clearly contradict those beliefs. We have been lulled into a false sense of security that just because someone holds a certain job or position, that the position they hold should define the level of trust, respect and integrity we assign to them individually. We believe our leaders, (civic and spiritual), our elders, heroes and (s)heroes should be of high moral character and have reputations that are held with the utmost regard. Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult to hold onto these beliefs. Our longstanding regard for the virtues of truth and integrity in our leaders has been severely diminished by those who are willing to LIE for expediency and a sense of loyalty instead of standing for Truth. The need to “save face” has undermined many a longstanding reputation built upon what we “believe” about that position, power and leadership. And, yet the larger issue is the diminished character of the individual who refuses to apologize for the LIE that was told either intentionally or unintentionally, or the complicit silence that continues to support all the other LIES that continue to be told in the name of an integrity, a reputation that does not exist.
If character is who you really are, the question is will you sacrifice that character for a false sense of integrity that is defined by a so-called “reputation” you may or may not deserve? The Truth is, Liars have no integrity at all. No matter WHO they are!