I’m a fraud!
My integrity suffers! Reputation, ripped to shreds.
No, no, do not tell me otherwise. Your kind words are lovely but misguided.
Fact is, I built myself up for an on-foot trek across the United States. I told you I was going to do it and I meant it with all the fiber and protein in my being.
And now, just a couple weeks later, I am sitting in Lansing, Michigan at my writing desk.
I gave my word that I’d thru-hike America. And then I acted in accordance to that word up to a certain point but did not follow through.
I walked close to 100 miles and then gave up. Just like that.
That’s broken integrity.
It’s like the boy who cried wolf except this time it is the dude who said he be thru-hiking ‘merica.
But he’s only human, right?
Understanding and empathy are awesome.
My friend good AJ told me that if we were in Lord of the Rings, I would have made it half way to Mordor. Well, according to some highly specialized research, Mordor is way further than Three Rivers (but I love you so much for the reference, man).
Nobody has said anything mean to me since I came back. No one has called me out on broken integrity.
No one but myself.
This is not me being hard on myself. This is me being real.
(Easy to confuse the two sometimes, isn’t it?)
Broken integrity. Little pieces of my word, scattered about and diluted, devalued and left for dead.
If my word means nothing, then I am nothing. Let’s face it, I’m a writer. If my words are pointless, I am empty and devoid of value to myself and others.
In order for you to trust me, I need to do what I say I am going to do.
I set a path in motion and then rescinded my own steps. Not only damaging other people’s trust in me, in the process, but also impairing my own inner system of self-trust.
If I can’t trust myself, then I’ve really got nothing.
So how does one restore integrity? Surely not through apologies and promises. Those are just words!
It is only by reliable congruence between our words and our corresponding actions that integrity can be credibly mended.
And that, my friends, is why I totally need to leave you hanging here.
See, my father is running a 5k this morning and I told him I’d be there.
I’d almost completely forgotten about it, but happened to remember just now!
Since my word can only be repaired by my actions supporting the validity of my word, then I’d better do what I say I am going to do as often as I can.
My apologies for the abrupt dismount, but I gotta go!
Also published on Medium.