5. Justice (From The Integrity Family)
There is nobility in truth and in those who hunt for it and insist upon it. Justices are our human compasses. They point us to true north and keep us from straying off course. You see this in the judge, lawyer or politician who won’t sell out and chooses the right way. What would happen in our legal, financial or spiritual worlds if no one had these Integrity attributes? Where would excellence be if we had no one to establish or maintain standards? Do you value people who tell you the truth? Do you appreciate people with strong follow-through? Do you value people who take things seriously? Justices go right to the bottom line.
My brother Gary has earned the nickname Mr. Integrity. We go to him to sort out the blurred boundaries and the gray areas of tough situations. He gives us a clear sense of direction and a model of the truth. It is reassuring and motivating to have a Justice help you sort out what’s real and true.
Justices are always seeking to apply their deeply-held values, principles and convictions to life. And the Justice attribute can show up in diverse ways. Remember my earlier review of the minister’s integrity and how that showed up in his ministry? The next day, I was talking with an exotic dancer from Las Vegas, discussing her Integrity ability. She believed without doubt that she helped marriages stay together because she provided a service and a release to sexually frustrated men. They returned to their wives feeling better. After my initial dismay, I realized she was trying to process her world through her Integrity ability. Integrity can be manifested in traditional or non-traditional ways. Justices have to match who they are with what they do. They have to ground themselves in truth.
Martin Luther King’s values, principles and convictions helped change the law, the world and history for the better. His determination forced a generation to react positively to the truths he saw. It is our loss that he couldn’t be convinced to change his security and accessibility with regard to the growing threats against his life.
The gift of a Justice is to firmly hold the truth dear. The flip-side is that they can stubbornly hold onto distorted truths. I believe Hitler was convinced he was right and took that belief with him to the grave. I doubt he realized the madness of his distortions that scarred generations and cataclysmically impacted history. Thankfully, Justices rarely hold bent truths as globally destructive. However, they can hold distorted truths that may be harmful to their own lives.
The process is both subtle and insidious. From their historic nurture or authority figures, Justices can get the notion that there is something wrong with them or that they need to be more like a sibling or an honor student. If they believe it, they apologize for who they are, try to justify their existence, and expend great energy trying to be something they’re not. It is supreme irony that truth-focused people can end up believing and living a lie. When something false seems true to them, they can pass on the possibilities that life has to offer in exchange for living in the hell of their own judgment.
A question I like to ask a Justice is, “On a scale of one to ten with ten being hardest, how hard are you on yourself when you make a mistake?” It is amazing to me how tough Justices can be on themselves. They can deny themselves permission to be human.
At a seminar, I talked to a woman who was 72 years old. She desperately wanted a turning point in her life, but she was terrified that her husband, son and daughter would judge her for selfishly pursuing her own desires. I explained to her the concept of living in the hell of her own judgment. In Disneyland’s Haunted House, the ghosts are expressionless, blank statues onto which holograms are projected. Likewise, Justices can project their judgment of themselves onto the blank expressions of those around them. Self-paralysis by judgment is a hellish experience for those who allow this bully into their lives.
If you have an Integrity attribute, you need to ask yourself, “Where are grace, mercy and forgiveness for me as I move forward, making mid-course corrections as needed?” As you inventory the movement and growth in your life, remember to make sure it matches you and not someone with an agenda that doesn’t honor the truth about you. Justices have to have an environment where they can grant themselves permission to be human.
I suggest to people with an Integrity attribute that we play a game to see if they can identify themselves. Individuals are designed to respond to guilt in one of three ways; choose which applies to you:
- Some people assign the blame to others.
- Some people admit what’s appropriate and pass on the rest.
- Some people take all the guilt on themselves.
Those with an Integrity attribute always pick the third choice. They always identify with total acceptance of guilt. The buck stops with them.
Justices can be counted on for the bottom-line truth, perspective or defined opinion. They help ground others in truth. They help others and themselves move toward integrity in their relationships.
What people physically do with their time and assets is a source of universal guilt. All people think they should be able to do it all and be paragons. This is a sensitive subject and an area that requires permission to be human. Learn to forgive yourself.