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Integrity Makes a Man
* Integrity is the basing of one’s actions on an internally consistent framework of principles.*
There is more to life than how much money you can make or how many girls you can sleep with. These are the artificial indicators of achievement in our society. Most of us are not above striving for them. Myself included.
But the real depth of your character and what ultimately makes you a man, is living within a set of core values and beliefs that you set for yourself.
We addressed integrity in our “The Lost Art of Being a Man” podcast, and how it relates to the way you interact with women. The reason women have no respect for “nice guys” is because these nice guys often lack integrity. Their lack of integrity stems from the fact that they hold beautiful women to different standards then they hold the rest of the world. The set of values they define for themselves gets pushed aside for the opportunity to be with a beautiful woman.
But integrity goes further than your dealings with the opposite sex. It is equally important in how you live your life. I am by no means a perfect person. We have all most likely been a role where we’ve acted in a way that is not congruent with our core set of values… but watching Roger Clemens at the Congressional hearings yesterday reminded me of the importance of living with integrity.
Roger Clemens was my favorite sports figure since 1986. I religiously followed his career and collected his memorabilia. Even after I began to lose interest in baseball I still made an attempt to keep track of his career. It was to the point where my friends laughed because I changed favorite teams every time he signed a new contract. I’m the only guy in NJ who walked around in an Astros hat. Part of my fascination with him was based on childhood nostalgia, the other part of it was that I was completely impressed with the stories of his unparalleled will and determination. I was envious of the motivation he possessed that got him out of bed at 430 am every morning to work his body to peak performance.
That being said Roger Clemens choice to have himself injected with steroids is something I could forgive him for. Human being make mistakes. Period. I relate it similarly to mistakes I’ve made where I’ve cheated on girls that I loved. Something at that point in time(mainly my dick) made me feel it was necessary to sleep with a woman outside of my relationship. Its not something I’m proud of. But life is to short for regrets so I move on. The same can be said for Roger Clemens use of steroids. Something at that point of his life (mainly his fierce drive to be the best) made him feel it was necessary to use performance enhancing drugs. Shit happens. People fuck up.
But watching Clemens blatantly lying over and over again to save his chances for the Hall and his endorsement deals, has left me with the feeling that the man lacks a sense of integrity. While making a mistake is human nature. Owning up to a mistake is what separates the men from the boys.
I don’t think any of us are above lying. If you’ve ever used a someone else’s canned routine in the field… you’ve lied. If you’ve ever told a girl you were going for a friends luncheon but really had sex with a Argentine prostitute in back alley brothel…. you’ve lied. There is a certain shame in these types of lies. But most of us have defined our core set of values to let these sorts of lies slip by. Once again, we are human beings.
My definition of living with integrity means owning up to your mistakes. Or doing everything in your power to correct them in the future. I’ve lied to girls and cheated on them. But when I eventually got caught I laid all of my cards on the table. I told them EXACTLY how I felt and why I did it. It wasn’t always easy. It would have been easier to continue the lies (as OJ showed us deny deny deny) but to me there is a difference between situational lying and lying about something you’ve been accused of.
If someone casually asks me how many girls I’ve slept with, I may lie as to not appear a slut in that particular situation. It is my personal business and I may not feel the need to be completely open. And if someone casually asked Roger Clemens if he’s ever used steroids I would not condemn him for lying in that situation. It is his personal business.
But if a girl claims to have slept with me, and I know full well that I did, I will not deny it. Because when you deny something you’ve done against someone else’s word… you’re, in fact, calling them a liar. This is where Roger Clemens has crossed the line of simply making a “human mistake” and gone on to show an utter lack of integrity.
The problem with Clemens choice of action is that the only person he is looking out for is himself. He is calling numerous people liars, using his wife as a scapegoat, questioning his best friend’s story, and wasting the time of a whole lot of people who would just like to move on from this shit.I n the face of adversity that Clemens is facing you always have two choices: You can lie and manipulate and play the self serving “if I deny long enough they’ll forget about it” card, or you can own own up to your mistake.. in essence; Be a man and move forward.
In every situation in life you have these same two choices: You make excuses, take the self serving route, blame everyone else… or you own up your mistakes and BECOME A MAN.
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