© 2014 Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved.
I think of INTEGRITY as a character of consistency, based on values. So we act consistently, in accordance with what we believe to be true and right. You might say, “we stand up for what we stand for.”
One Spring day, I was changing busses at a downtown Metro terminal, and I saw a youth harassing another youth who was a foot shorter. Before I knew it, I was standing right by them, looking up at the taller one, telling the taller one that whatever his issue was, it was enough now; that he was too big to be handling it this way. The smaller youth was crying and had goo running down his face. I turned to the nearest bus, which had open windows, and asked if anyone had a couple of tissues. Two women immediately handed me tissues through the bus window. At this point, the taller youth evaporated. I helped the shorter one wipe his face. I asked him if he was okay, and shuddering, he said “yes.” I asked him if he knew which bus he needed to take, and he said yes and gave the bus number. I stayed with him for a few minutes until I was sure he was good to get on that bus, telling him I would stay until it came. I would have taken that bus with him if I thought he had needed more help.
To understand the astonishment of myself, the crowd and the two youths, you need to know I am blonde and blue, and I was an extremely thin wisp, dressed in a skirted suit and high heels. It was 1983. The youths were both Black. But my being sprang into action before my conscious decision-making brain had considered the right thing to do. If you want a nonviolent world, let your integrity bubble out of you into action. Let it surprise you as it astonished many of us that day. Thirty years later, I wonder how the events at that bus station have affected those two youths, and what they may have said about that crazy white woman who unequivocally told them, “that’s enough now.” Who knows? Lives may have changed.
Here is AGNT’s meditation for SNV Day 17:
DAY 17 Feb. 15: The thought for today is INTEGRITY. “Do the Right Thing!” Spike Lee used these words as a title for one of his movies. When faced with a choice, listen to your conscience, and be willing to act accordingly, no matter what others may say. You know what is right to do; you can choose to do it.
Integrity asks for firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values and denies any form of corruption. Integrity is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. And when I am in harmony, I am a model of nonviolence.
Today: When faced with a choice today, I listen to my conscience. I’ll recall then write a short story about a time when I listened to my heart when the people around me were doing something else.
● Kebba Buckley Button is the author of the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core (Second Edition). It’s a book to keep with you constantly, to quickly recharge your Peace Within, with quotes, photos, and poems that take you directly there! Kebba is a corporate stress management trainer, and she also has a holistic healing practice.
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