Who Are You When No One Is Looking?
Today I was reading online and read this question…”Who are you when no one is looking?” and thought wow what a mouthful. Who are we really? Are there things that we do that we will not do in public because we know it is not really the way to be acting? Do we hide things about us because we know others would not approve? Are we like two different people from public to private? Or are we proud of ourselves both in public and in private and are not embarrassed or ashamed to tell others what we have done?
“Integrity is being honest even when no one else is looking. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is around to see you do it. Integrity is doing things the way they should be done, when no one is looking, instead of doing shortcuts. Integrity is being upright, and true to ones beliefs. Its admitting you made a mistake and facing the consequence, even if no one could prove it was you. It about doing whats right and all the time, in everything you do, so that at any moment anyone can look at everything you did that day and be proud of what kind of person you are.” Integrity Center
It made me very conscious of what I do all day. While we all make mistakes….I wanted to self analyze what I said and did when no one was around to see if I was deliberately withholding because I knew I should not be doing this or that. Was I as honest in private as I was in public? Was I as nice and caring in private as I was in public? Did I stretch the truth in public? Did I live up to my faith in private and in public? Did I let others take the blame in public instead of admitting if I did something? Did I act all sweet and nice in public and different in private? Was I proud of the way I acted in private and in public? Was I ashamed to tell anyone what I did in private? Did I hide the real me or things I did because I did not want anyone to know so I would not get in trouble? Did I feel anything in my conscience if I did something I knew I should not? Or had I successfully deadened my conscience so that I did not feel guilty at anything I did? If I were a TV show like the Truman Show movie and someone could tune in at any time and see me, would I be ashamed of how I acted at any time? Lots of serious thinking was going on.
Have you thought about that? What if someone could see you in private…would you be worried? Or would you say that you did alright and maybe made a mistake or two but you tried hard? Who are you in private? Some people seem to do fine acting one way in private and another way to the public or friends, but eventually it will catch up. Some people act one way to the world but get behind a computer monitor and say ugly things to people because no one would knows it is them.
“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.”
image from blog.adw.org
I always wondered what make people think they needed to put on a front to the world and hide who they were. As I was reading on this, it finally hit me that the reason is they know how they really act would not be accepted by most people. So, then why not just change how they act? I guess I am naive but to me, it would be a lot simpler to change how they are if it is something they have to hide than to keep playing a game of being one way in public and another in private. I guess that is too simple but I like simple. And I like knowing that if someone walked in on me, they would see the same person as they would see out in public.
“Honest people don’t hide their deeds.”
Emily Bronte-Wuthering Heights
So, who we are in private really goes back to honesty again. Does everything lead back to honesty? I am beginning to think so. I was always told it took a lifetime to build a good reputation and only a minute to destroy it. So, I guess who we are in private is part of building our character and as long as we keep both the private and the public the same, then we are showing a true picture of ourselves.
“Being truthful, even when your friends are not, takes real courage.” Donna B. Forrest
I remember taking a quiz once with questions like this: “If you walked in to the snack room at work and saw a dollar left on the table where someone had just been sitting when you walked in and they had left, would you pocket it?” “If you saw someone stealing, would you report them?” “If you saw people picking on someone, would you go over and stop it?” “If you caught a good friend in a lie, would you tell them?” Who are you when no one is really watching?
You can build a thousand bridges and with only one loss of integrity, you won’t be remembered as a bridge builder.
I think the reason that keeping who we are in private the same as who we are in public becomes crucial.is because someone is always watching and one day we may think we are in private and someone will overhear or see the real us and the charade is discovered. Being a person of integrity means in all thing even the little things and it means not deadening our consciences so that we no longer have the few days of feeling like things are just not right because we did something that we knew was not exactly the honest thing to do.
Is is important to be honest in little things as well as big things.
Living a dishonest life and that is really what it is when one acts one way in public and another in private can become so complicated. For one lie leads to another lie and another and then a person can not remember what stories they told and what they did not and will get their stories mixed up and it will catch them in the end. Being honest is a lot easier because there are no stories to remember just the truth. Some people think exaggerating is not lying but it is. It is telling a half truth and
“A half Truth is a whole lie. ~ Yiddish Proverb”
Sadly, many that live half truth lives and are different people in public than they are in private do not want the truth to be told. No matter if a person catches them in the middle of their lies, they will deny the truth and will actually try to continue to prove to you that the lie they have perpetuated in public is true. They would rather live the lie than stand up and say “You know what. I was wrong and this is not true. but here is the truth.
Some people will not tolerate such emotional honesty in communication. They would rather defend their dishonesty on the grounds that it might hurt others. Therefore, having rationalized their phoniness into nobility, they settle for superficial relationships. ~ unknown author
I tell people I am me yesterday, today and tomorrow and all are .the same me. I believe in honesty in all things. Does this mean I never do anything wrong. Of course not. It just means that when I do make mistakes that it is not a deliberate untruth or whatever. It means that I do not deliberately try to present a facade in public that is one way and hide the way I really am and only show it in private. I am the same me today, tomorrow and always. So, who am I in private? I am a wacky, funny, loving, happy,, passionate, honest, hardworking woman and a survivor.
That one sentence in the title sure did make me think a lot and make me do some self-examination. I can remember a time many years ago that I hid who I was because I did not like the person I was. That is when my quest to make integrity and honesty the core of who I am began and I worked hard on it to make sure that I kept me the same day after day and followed my faith and my beliefs whether I was in private or public. And that title “Who are you when no one is looking?”.instills in me even more the desire to keep integrity a top goal for myself always no matter how hard it is.
“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.”
—John D. MacDonald-
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