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Investing in Integrity

September 8, 2010

Integrity makes our world work. That’s the thesis from a new book published in 2010 titled “The Economics of Integrity.” We need to have faith and trust in the people we have relationships with. When we buy a product, we need to feel comfortable that it is the best product for the price we are paying for it. You have to believe the seller. Yes, there are the charlatans who will sell you junk that won’t work. And there are the hucksters who will try to talk you into purchases we don’t need. But when you are dealing with your health, integrity is critical. Hope and trust are critical to our future well being. We have to have faith in our medical establishment, in our behavioral health therapy and in our leadership. We have to believe that our future is promising. If we give up hope, we no longer move forward and just try to protect what we have.

There will always be folk out there trying to stop you from moving forward. Opportunists looking to line their own pockets. We in Alaska have a half term former governor who once asked in a major speech, “How’s that hopey, changey thing working out for ya?” The point apparently was that hope and change are not things you want.

For our chronically ill patients, hope and change is exactly what they want. And what we have to fight against are the quick fixes that the hucksters are selling. There are no magic pills to a lifetime of treating your body poorly. There is no easy way to change your mindset overnight. As adults, it takes work to learn how to think in a hopeful way, and it takes more time to change. While the convention wisdom is that it takes 21 days to break a habit and create a new one, there are some sources that place the amount of time at 61 days. It takes a thousand or so repetitions to make a new habit common place. And most of us are not able to sustain the sheer number of repetitions required to support a new great habit. It takes a vision, a goal and repetition. You mind also needs to believe in that vision, or that “hopey changey thing.” They need to believe in it with their whole heart for it to happen. And they need to see successes.

As we proceed with our Restoration to Health strategy, integrity and honesty is important. We cannot be hucksters and sell a cure all pill. We have to tell people that change is hard work but the dream you have is worth it. We have to help our trauma afflicted adults understand that there is a great future in store for them if they put in the hard work. Then we have to inspire them every day with compassionate, honest feedback.

So, to our Alaska Native adults who feel despair, there is a wonderful future available to you. Come with us and learn how, then put in the hard work to realize it. Be honest with yourself and with others who rely on you to deliver on your commitments. Invest in integrity.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 3, 2010 8:54 AM

    Thanks! great post , Jack

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