An organization’s culture is its ego. Since ego is utterly obdurate, well-intended efforts to change the culture go nowhere. Whistleblowers are professionally slain while conformity is elevated to a virtue and called loyalty.
Life befriends and guides generous men. Tightwads fall into holes they’ve dug themselves.
While conceding that he is a lousy husband, the man says he is nevertheless a wonderful father. I ask him if he is honest. He says, “Sometimes.”
There’s a bit of a silence between us. Integrity is not sometimes.
Loyalty is not a virtue—unless omerta is, unless conformity, accommodation and codes of conduct are, unless the virtues are strategic, personal and exclusionary. Make no vows, Jesus said, speaking to the deaf.
Graduating students are routinely told they can be anything they want to be. This is misleading. I cannot want to be virtuous, to be honest, to have integrity, to live, love and die with my whole heart. Wanting is suffering. This three-word simplicity is one of the Four Noble Truths.
Whatever you can dream, you can achieve. Also not true. The more present we are, the fewer dreams we entertain. Dreams are left-overs.