Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Speaking of Integrity

"It's important that people know what you stand for. It's equally important that they know what you won't stand for". These are words of Mary Waldrop and I agree with her.

A few weeks ago, I decided to open a profile on myspace.com to promote better behavioral health among youths and matured adults alike. The experience that was waiting for me didn't meet my expectations. I began to receive all kinds of emails and friends requests from a myriad of types of people. I have to admit that some of these personalities scared me stiff! I mean, some of them had some porn pictures attached to their profiles. Obviously they were swingers on the look out for a romp in the hay with someone who might be on the look out too! But the thing is, I AM NOT! I received one particular email from a young man who wanted to befriend me. I replied saying that I don't mind for as long as he doesn't mind being friends with a 41 yr old married women with two teenage daughters. His reply was, "Does'nt your husband mind?"

I went on to explain the reasons for me setting up a profile at that site and that my husband totally supports my career and my intention of promoting behavioral health. I also told him that if it wasn't enough for him to consider me like a kakak to him, then maybe he needs to look else where. I also chided him lightly that maybe next time he shoud read the profiles of all the people he wants to befriend and make sure that they are single and available before taking the next step. I don't know. Maybe there are many married people who are still on the look out for better mates, but I ain't one of 'em.

Most of my counseling clients are couples with marital problems. There was even one husband who came to me to ask for my approval to divorce his wife because he has another woman on the side. I told him that he was acting irresponsibly and that if he wants to pull the trigger to ruin his marriage, he wasn't gonna get my approval for it. He stopped coming for counseling because I was honest enough to point out his lack of responsibility and he wasn't ready to face the reality of himself. I have no regrets as to how I handled that particular client. His wife is doing very well without him. And that in itself is the best reward I got out of that experience.

Many are afraid to stand their ground and stick to their principles of right and wrong when the so called perpetrator is someone close to them. But this is how integrity is measured. Because, at the day of Judgement, we will not be asked what we have read, but what we have done. There is no right way to do something wrong. No matter how you think about it, you will agree, too.

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