Empathy Drives Integrity

A life lived with integrity, even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shinning star in whose light others may follow in the years to come.

-Dennis Waitley (Author of The Psychology of Winning)

I’ve been thinking so much about integrity lately.

When a person lacks integrity, others suffer the consequences.

I’ve often (and recently) suffered from poor integrity in other people and organizations.

Everyone has.

I know too well what it’s like to beg for integrity… to walk on egg shells, pleading, and waiting, and hoping that someone will finally realize how their broken promises are killing my dreams, and devastating my life.

To stand on this soap box too loudly, one would need to be perfect, and I am not.

So I will write with a humble tone and perhaps challenge both of us.

Yes, of course… I have my weaknesses,

Just like you.

I have no right to brag when I am strong, for at my best, I am still only human.

Sometimes, I breakdown, and I fail – while aiming to give my best and make the greatest difference for others.

But my W O R D means something to me.

I always try to do what I promise to do, even when it really hurts.

Why? Because I sincerely care about other people. I have E M P A T H Y for them… so much, that I often cry when they suffer, especially when (God forbid it) I am the cause of their suffering.

This deep inner care drives me to do what I say I’m going to do, when I say I’m going to do it… and even better and faster, when that is possible.

So then at least for me,

E M P A T H Y drives I N T E G R I T Y

Empathy defined: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.

(Read this a few times)

It’s hard to have integrity when the universe centers around ME. But when I understand… when I am sensitive to… and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts of the people around me… then I can comprehend how my actions (or inactions) affect these people.

In a world lacking so badly in this virtue, let us ask God to help us shine.

Your thoughts?

Have a beautiful day everyone!

Dream Big, Live Bold, and Make A Difference!

Chuck Balsamo

Today’s image from Anton Van Den Berg

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “Empathy Drives Integrity

  1. I heard a powerful talk on integrity this past weekend. What impacted me the most was a statement about practicing “loving integrity.” A concept you’ve explained well today. Thanks Chuck.

    • Steve, I love it when this sort of thing happens… it’s an evidence of GOD… far too coincidental to be a coincidence! Does this make sense? lol

      I’m praying for you this afternoon, thanking God for our distant friendship… you are shining a light, and I am benefiting from that light! God bless you friend!

  2. Pastor you have a strong foundation from which your life is built upon. Not everyone has that and I am seeing sadly more and more in this world too many people do not have a strong foundation at all. They just don’t know and understand. Thank God, for people like you who are called by God and driven to make a difference in this world and in the people of this world. You impact so many lives in such a huge way!

    I was so fortunate to be able to attend the FCCLA (Family Career and Community Leaders of America- State Conference with my daughter, Shianne this past weekend. I have to admit it really was an eye opener for me! To see in action what abilities these middle school and high school students possess at such an age and to hear the keynote speakers , wow, I am still in awe of it!

    I’m reading a book now that one of the speakers wrote, 10 Seconds That Will Change Your Life Forever, by Bobby Petrocelli and he teaches on consequences, choices and our reactions. Integrity , I feel is another one of those foundational qualities. It’s rooted in truth, honesty, character and moral ethics. If people don’t care much about themselves or how they live their on lives or know that THEY MATTER , then how are we to expect them to care about what matters to us or others?

    I feel we live in a world where people don’t feel like they matter. Their self esteem is low, they turn to drugs and alcohol to hide their pain from whatever it is they feel they are missing. We know what they are missing but they don’t quite grasp it because they don’t know what they don’t know. Some have been wounded, hurt, offended, betrayed, abused, some just feel like something is not quite right. Either way, its a emptiness they are desperately trying to fill up.

    What is the solution? Love them, forgive them, teach them, train them, help them. We need each other who are grounded in a foundational truth, solid rock to lean on each other to help hold each other up to accomplish this.

    In this book I mentioned above the author had a tragedy in life. A full size Pick up truck blazed through his bedroom wall at 70 mph, severely injuring him and killing his wife. As he speaks you are on the edge of your seats. He then explains how this wasn’t the results of a drunk driver. Why? Yes, the driver was drunk but, there was a decision before he began to drink. A choice was made. There was a life this man lead. Problems he had. People that surrounded this man’s life didn’t let him know HE MATTERED! He wasn’t grounded in truth. So , therefore, many people suffer the consequences of his 10 second decision that killed his wife.

    My point and how I feel it relates to your blog is this, yes people lack integrity, we all need to forgive them anyway. They don’t know what they don’t understand. Trust me, I get frustrated and hurt and confused and so done at times. I pray to be better at helping people. I am not there yet. I am not there with it myself. I let people down. I may forget to do things I am supposed to do, please forgive me. I do know this, I do my very best and I do all I am able to do and I know and trust God will help me do the rest.

    • So true Vickie:

      I feel we live in a world where people don’t feel like they matter. Their self esteem is low, they turn to drugs and alcohol to hide their pain from whatever it is they feel they are missing. We know what they are missing but they don’t quite grasp it because they don’t know what they don’t know. Some have been wounded, hurt, offended, betrayed, abused, some just feel like something is not quite right. Either way, its a emptiness they are desperately trying to fill up.

      I also like your thoughts about granting mercy to the people who lack integrity. We all need it for sure! 🙂

  3. With regards to this blog which touches on so many different topics, it brings many thoughts, Scriptures and things that I journaled about through the years. Unfortunately, because of many things that happened, the journals and the things I recorded or committed to memory, vanished. Yet, I thank God for restoration and deliverance from the very thing that hinders a lot of us: harboring unforgiveness: forgiving ourselves and others

    For it what Christ who said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” and it was the apostle Paul who said ” the good that I should do I don’t and the things I shouldn’t so I do”. And, when I consider these two statements, I better understand why the Lord’s Prayer is recorded as well because God knew that “the human heart and mind are both complex and fragile” (this is what I quoted on Twitter this morning). He knew we needed validation and He knew what it was like to be misled by impulse and a lack of understanding as stated in Jeremiah 1 and in Habakkuk 2. And, in sum,this explains why God put Jesus in place for a purpose on purpose and had him prophetically declare ” it is finished” so that we would understand that we all have what we need to succeed and to be at peace within and that all of this can be ours forever if we seek and get to know Him for ourselves

    • Very true Christine… harboring unforgiveness is a terrible thing, it’s a huge killer of happiness, and destiny. Bitterness (the offspring of unforgiveness) eats at our soul like the cancer that it is. Bitterness makes us undesirable. It clouds our vision to the blessings right in fronton us.

      I wrote about this subject extensively in chapters 15 & 16 in my book “Make Me A Legend.”

      Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

      • Your book is both thought provoking and challenging. Its contents behoove to seek God like a curious two year ok seemingly asking lots of why questions. Surely, it is a good read that encourages the reader(s) to relentlessly seek God for answers and gives its readers the desire to better understand God’s verdict concerning their lives.