a state of being whole and undivided.

Integrity

I don’t profess to being the most solid individual in the world, but I strive to have some sense of integrity about my dealings with colleagues. However, patience spreads thin when I see blatant injustices for the sake of power positioning. My whole temporal being becomes unhinged, and clear sight quickly impairs. Rash behaviors take hold, and no sooner than the feeling of fear hitting at the very core of my being emerges, I have blurted out something controversial. The gasp from my colleagues in the room stifles any clear sensibility on my part.

In an instant, I feverishly begin to tread water, attempting to control what clearly reveals a wrong on my part. Fast, the loss of control overcomes me. I earnestly attempt to right the wrong, but humans have little patience: they see what they want to see. Each word or phrase that attempts to set the wrong right creates further uncomfortable moments, while at the same time providing food for destruction from those who would love to tear me down.

The intrigue of people to view crashes has always amazed me. I often get sucked into rubbernecking at accidents. It’s as if witnessing the destruction somehow absolves me from destructive defects. The goal of any participant in our dog-eat-dog competitive world depends on finding the flaws in “competitors,” which would provide opportunities of “growth. Players, ingrained to cast slings and arrows against the misfortunate, slither throughout the work environment. Compassion would be considered a sign of weakness – a player loosing ground. So to expect empathy in any given work situation would be delusional. Public high schools, transformed by the corporate impulse, are not exempt from this callousness.

After being exposed to office intrigue about who rattled whose cage, my instinct to leave this job loomed large. My life passed before me, and the idea that the rest of my work days would be subject to petty power struggles in public school buildings became depressing. Principles over personalities seems a hopeless, far away concept, since over the past seven years Principals have abused workplace ethics to feel a sense of power in their powerless position of imposing a uniform pedagogy over a variety of disciplines.

A wise woman once told me that the course of experience will lead one to see ‘how it works, and how it doesn’t work.’ Living then becomes the choosing of which path I decide to stroll down. Such a viewpoint requires that I remain teachable at any given turn, and open-minded to a new way of living as the years change the world I built around me. All that I know, and all that I assumed would be, become questionable as I begin another cycle of deciding what I want to become when I grow up.

My aged world begins the third stage of a great ride ¬†– assuming that Saturn’s return designates each stage – I get to choose the kind of person I would like to become, not only by example, but for personal sanity. Reinvention, which can begin at any point, requires a powerful intuitive imagination that connects to a steadfast commitment of a rational idea (this rationality remains the tricky part of negotiating between the dichotomy of a concerted philosophical discourse and intoxicating small talk).

The passionate belief of “anything is possible if you imagine it” commits to the genuine idea that I still possess the opportunity to reinvent and create my life anew. Many detractors of change reject my thinking in their attempt to protect safe cultural norms and deny their own stagnation. As an architect of reinvention, I must consistently refresh my faithfulness to teachability. To innovate means to set in motion and organize the day-to-day necessities of creating a “something” with disciplined patience and practice.¬†Faith breeds change, and safeguards the construction process. The daily, and equally disciplined, practice of conscious contact insures the reverence to the gift of being not only in the process of change, but in the moment of being in and of itself. Humility helps me to keep me at bay the fearful force of those persons, afraid of losing ground, who set out to tear such innovation down.

One’s truth questioning voice must remain steadfast in the things constructed. True intentions, subject to truth tests and exposed to the light of day, lead to a state of perfection. Yet these acts of expression must also be measured by a level of fair-mindedness, compassion and empathy. As a result, integrity develops as a continuing process of becoming. A life of dignity then remains my choice to stay in the process of change.