Integrity and Courage

In this century1 there has been a systematic drift away from earlier social encouragement to live up to high standards of integrity and courage. As the owning-class/working-class society has moved away from its evolving and growing stage and its early conflicts with the ideas of the feudal society it replaced, it has come to systematically encourage dishonesty and timidity. The commercial functions of the society have moved away from invention, improvements in manufacturing and manufacturing efficiency, and improvements in the livability of the environment. Society has become increasingly oriented more toward wasteful consumption, planned obsolescence, and monopolistic rather than competitive functioning.

The conditioning of young people—using the schools, the armed services, and “media saturation”—include “waiting to win the lottery prize,” “getting away with something,”2 and “escapism.” Much rebellion is produced but of an unprincipled type done thoughtlessly, unethically, violently, and unsuccessfully.

The simple, human ideas of courage and integrity are more and more treated as “naive” and “uncool.”3 

Resisting and recovering from such conditioning is a key task for each of us at this point if we are to regain our effectiveness. Great damage has been inflicted on all peoples by the presently collapsing society. It is an important struggle for each of us to commit ourselves to and model complete integrity (honesty and doing the right thing regardless of convenience or comfort) and courage (doing the right thing regardless of fear, greed, embarrassment, or humiliation).

Harvey Jackins

From The List, page 186

(Present Time 183, April 2016)

1 The 1900s
2 “Getting away with something” means managing to do something wrong without getting caught.
3 “Uncool” means unfashionable.

Last modified: 2017-04-06 23:13:23+00