Strength of Character #4: The Truth
Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness, there is suspicion and doubt; hesitation. Truthfulness breeds certainty in ourselves, and for others. It is not simply a matter of being truthful with others. It begins, and ends, with being truthful with ourselves.
This past week has been challenging. With a 91-year-old mother in hospital for pneumonia, exam week fast approaching and a business in its re-launch and growth stage, there have been many clarion calls for truthfulness. It has caused me, personally and professionally, to be truthful with myself. Facing the mortality of a mother is akin to facing one’s own. It can cause great and sincere reflection. That reflection requires truthfulness.
I have been asking myself some important questions regarding my life and work. What do I do? What do I do best? For whom do I do it best? For whom do I want to do it best? As I discerned these questions one common theme arose. Education. I am wired as an educator. It is my nature, passion and expertise. It is my intuition and creativity. Education. Then, a close and knowing friend suggested I need ask questions around education. What is education? How do I perceive it best conducted? Why is education vital to my spirit? These were powerful questions, but only in as much as it demanded truthfulness of spirit.
In business, branding is crucial. Authentic branding is even more so. We must be what we say we are in order to maintain legitimacy of brand. That being said, it is incredibly easier to say what we mean and mean what we say when we are truthful with ourselves from the start. It is amazingly more sustainable to maintain a brand that is true to our intent.
So what is the point? Truthfulness is the foundation of sustainable service and success. When we are truthful with ourselves as individuals or organizations, campuses or companies… or communities… we can live it because we know it. As I spent much emotional energy around caring for my mother and concluding courses and strategizing on our business, I became truthful with myself in terms of the work I most want to do and the life I most intend to create. I could almost hear my father say “atta boy” … as he discovered his passion for construction early in life… and lived it.
I am an educator. More so, I am a champion of education; real and powerful and creative education. I believe it to be the path to peace, passion and prosperity. I believe it to be the path to justice and service. I see a system that does not serve as well as it could. I see the need for greater engagement of character, capacity and creativity in education. I see it on campus, in companies and throughout communities. I see the need for education as a path out of violence, locally and globally. I am moved by education and learning … and the cultures that foster and advance it. It is the work I was born to do. If my father built buildings, then I build education. If my father built colleges and universities, then I make sure the work within lives up to the quality of the work without. And there is a need, crying out in this world. But I digress and leave for further discussion.
For now, witness our opening line of truth on our website….
We engage education as a force for excellence, growth and change. We are an education company.
And for now, I suggest passionately and purposefully that you engage truthfulness as the foundation of your work and life. Be truthful with yourself; deeply truthful. Then, have the courage to live that truth. As far as we know, we have but one life in this mortal world. That seems far too precious to not be truthful. As for me, I know what I want in work, business, health and life. Time to be “true” to it.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™