Tuesday, November 27, 2012


integrity |inˈtegritē|
1 the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness: he is trustworthy and known to be a man of integrity.

Did you know that map makers often include phantom streets to thwart copyright infringement? No big deal, even clever, right? 

Pretty big deal to me because it tells me two important things: First, truth has become a vague concept that is nearly irrelevant now. Second, lying is the preferred way to overcome cheating. Apparently two wrongs make it right is the new acceptable norm and thus we’ve reached a new low.

We didn’t arrive at this new level of depravity quickly, however. It’s been a long slow process actually. One slip and then another, the bar taken down notch by notch until we have now come close to rock bottom. 

What does the world look like at rock bottom?

Using Biblical example I could reference Sodom and Gomorrah. But using a more modern representation of the world gone sour I’d like to recount the fictional story of Pottersville, the miserable alternate possible result of George Bailey having never existed in It’s a Wonderful Life. Who doesn’t know what the good town of Bedford Falls looked like as Pottersville, a sleazy collection of strip clubs, pawn shops, violence, thieves and liars. As bad as that description is, I can imagine a more progressive version of Pottersville might include useless brain dead crack-heads hanging out on corners focused on nothing but how they will get their next hit, graffiti on every square inch of crumbling buildings, every conceivable form of reprobated human activity, salacious sexuality exposed and proudly paraded for anyone to see in all matter of media. Fear, addiction and sickness, in mind, body and spirit would rule. Anything would be allowed so long as it did not threaten to pull someone out of the cycle of bondage to self destruction. The only rule would be that there would be no rules regarding behavior so long as it felt good.

In modern Pottersville I would expect that any attempt to maintain a moral code would be met with loud opposition and eventually those still clinging to the concept of baseline morality being in the best interest of civilization would be ostracized and vilified.  They would be shouted down until they could no longer be heard. The 21st Century Pottersville would officially define and support good as evil and evil as good, passing laws to support this position. Lying would be so rampant it would be expected. Everything would be upside down and backwards compared to Bedford Falls.

Heroes in Pottersville 2012 would be the old villains of Bedford Falls. Blood sucking vampires, witches and warlocks would be the iconic champions of the new normal, teachers of the new morality. Celebrating evil would be the common themes in children’s cartoons, TV sit-coms, movies and music. Superficiality in everything would reflect the underpinning of lies and lying and the adoration of good image, regardless how unreal, would be more acceptable than what is simply true.

All references to the old standards of human decency, work ethic, health and well-being, in mind/body/soul–integrity in general–would be tossed to the trash heap and left to be devoured by rats in the dank alleys. The children of Pottersville, those who manage to survive to adulthood, would have no recollection of the old standards and therefore would become the perpetuators of the norm until it all finally implodes, to everyone’s utter shock.

In the fictional story it was clear to anyone that Pottersville was not a good place and destined to a bad ending. It was meant to be representative of how important integrity is and how things go to hell in a hand-basket when integrity is not present. 

It was just a story, though, not a real true place. 

But life often imitates art because deep in the recesses of human imagination there is a place where collective memory knows the difference between right and wrong, between that which feeds, grows, and builds up or destroys, and that which supports continuum instead of annihilation. In this dim realm of the subconscious we recall the real places in history that did choose the low road and perished for it. In this misty memory is where we are given the freewill opportunity to choose between what simply feels good in the moment only to kill soon after, or promises to build up in the course of existence and end well into eternity.

When presented with the stark comparison, it is hard to imagine who would choose to live in Pottersville instead of Bedford Falls. Who would choose slavery to freedom, sickness and death over health and life? Who would choose lies over truth? 

The author of lies, who hates integrity and will lie to, cheat and seduce as many as possible away from it. That’s who. 

For Christ,

(Joshua 24:15) And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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