The spiral growth systems blog

American Politics, Integrity Soup, and Cats in Rhinestone Gloves

I don’t usually do this. In fact, I generally do my best to avoid it. It doesn’t provide much value. It “feeds the wolf” I’d rather not feed and certainly doesn’t show the darkness of the world in its true light.

But yesterday I couldn’t help it. It was right in front of me. And, frankly, I was hostage on the elliptical machine without a book.

So I watched the news.

And this time, I was glad I did.

I’ve been lucky enough to be out of the United States during much of the pre-presidential election madness. And though the idea of choosing a “lesser of evils” says a lot about the state of affairs not only in the U.S., but on our planet, I can’t help but feel there’s something greater at play in the appearance of the big ‘ol mess in front of the U.S. government and its people (and, let’s face it, possibly even the people of the entire world given some of the possible repercussions of certain leaders taking office in the U.S.).

But I wouldn’t be me, walking my talk or embodying what I stand for if I didn’t embrace the mess. Loving our messiness, transparently, and vulnerably, is one of my favorite things, ever.

So today I’m choosing to embrace a small piece of this political, governmental, and ultimately societal mess, and talk about what I saw on the news yesterday that struck me.

According to recent polls, well over 50% of Americans believe that Trump is more honest than Clinton. The poll implied that not only did over half of the people polled think Clinton was not as honest, many also thought there was an equality in honesty or had no answer — leaving significantly less people who would say that Hillary Clinton is more honest than Trump.

What really hit me about this poll is the questionable nature of what honesty even means to people anyway. And I couldn’t help but think — if they had taken this poll based upon integrity, would it have been much different?

Both honesty and integrity are subjective by definition. Literally.

According to Google:

  • Honest = free of deceit and untruthfulness. sincere.
  • Integrity = the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. or the state of being whole and undivided.

And here’s the thing. In order to be sincere, you have to know what you’re being sincere about. Morals are subjective; therefore, having strong moral principles doesn’t actually mean you’re doing good or loving things — it only means you stand by what you believe in.

You could believe that every cat in the state of California needs to wear rhinestone-studded gloves. What matters is that you believe it strongly, and that all of your actions and words stand by that belief and never discount it. Do that and, at least by definition, you’re in integrity.

The conversation around honesty between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton never had anything to do with right or wrong — it had only to do with one question:

Do they believe what they’re saying?

With much of what’s going on in their campaigning we can’t even question the truth, because truth is subjective.

Under all elements of what’s true or untrue, people are looking for leaders who believe in what they are saying and are willing to stand by their word no matter what comes to pass.

This is why Trump got the “more honest” vote. But it still leaves a lingering question for me.

If we have to believe in what we’re saying for it to be honest and in integrity, don’t we actually have to know what we believe first?

And if we have to know what we believe, don’t we actually have to know who we are?

This is where politics take a downfall. Politics and governments of the world aren’t about knowing who we are. In fact, they’re not about internal awareness at all.

Which is quite ironic, if you think about it. Because people want leaders who believe, who are honest, and who are in integrity. And looping back around to the core of those things, we see that none of them are possible without self-awareness.

So why are we even talking about this if the self-awareness of said U.S. presidential candidates is a lost cause?

Because it’s not too late. It’s never too late with self-awareness.

It’s not too late because self-awareness — knowing who you are, what you stand for, what you truly believe (and if it’s the cats of California needing rhinestone-studded gloves, more power to you) — is a journey only and entirely of the self. It’s one that must come from within you.

No matter how much support you may gain (and I’m all for recruiting or hiring support!), you still have to do the work.

So as people are standing around pining over the state of affairs of certain things that may (or may not) be a lost cause, it’s time for you to remember that the power to change things lies in how well you know yourself.

In fact, anything that you want to change in the world is waiting for you to overcome your issues so you can become that leader to make that change.

So what are you waiting for? Certainly not a cat in rhinestone-studded gloves.

I’d love to hear what you’re going to do today to take a step further into your own deep awareness of yourself, and simultaneously, becoming more of that leader the world needs.

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