I wasn’t in a seedy neighborhood bar or walking down a dimly lit back alley somewhere. I wasn’t consorting with drug dealers or fraternizing with slumlords. I was sitting at my work-station in our kitchen, listening to my son read and enjoying a brief respite from my two smaller children. It was simply an average afternoon. You see, our integrity can be tested anywhere anytime….even on a Thursday afternoon in your kitchen.
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) just came out with a new set of rules for bloggers to follow when writing sponsored posts (posts we either get paid for, or receive product for.) A company I’d been working with for a few months had been asking us to do something that didn’t line up with the new set of rules. I emailed the company, explaining the new rules and asked how they would like us to proceed. And in their response, they opened the door for dishonesty. The company blatantly asked me to break the law. (I wish I was kidding.) After picking my jaw up from the floor, I walked away from the computer with a heavy heart….and started thinking about integrity….specifically, mine.
I make a decent amount of money when working with this company. I’ll admit that I don’t run Chasing Supermom for the perks….but we’re a family of 6 living on a pastor’s income, and the extra money helps. It would be very easy to give in…to take the money….to quietly continue to blog under the FTC’s radar. But, would it be worth it?
What price have you set your integrity at? How much is honesty worth to you? I know one thing…dishonesty is very costly. I’ve seen friendships, marriages, jobs, and reputations shattered over a few choices made without integrity.
We like picturing the dishonest as only the lowest of society. People like us? Nah. We don’t live without integrity. We pay our taxes. We don’t cheat on our spouses. We’re not shoving Snickers bars in our pockets at the grocery store. But dishonesty likes to mask itself…hide itself…camouflaging itself into our daily life. We’ve become so accustomed to things like gossip, loopholes, and little white lies that we don’t recognize them as dishonest.
Would I be prosecuted if I continued to work with this company? Probably not. Would I like to continue to make the money? You bet. Do I value my reputation as a blogger with integrity more than a few bucks? Absolutely.
I want my kids to do what’s right EVEN WHEN IT HURTS. I want my kids to live a life of integrity EVEN WHEN NO ONE ELSE IS. I want integrity to be synonymous with my name, and want to raise children who WANT to do the right thing at all costs.
The next time you are tempted to act without integrity, ask yourself if it’s worth the cost. Is sharing the nugget of gossip worth losing the friendship? Is sending the flirtatious text message worth jeopardizing your marriage? Is it worth it? What price have you set your integrity at?
I hope you will stand with me today and take the pledge to be honest, even when it costs you. The rewards of an honest life will far outweigh the cost of living a life without integrity.
*picture image courtesy of whatwillmatter.com