The Values of Honesty and Integrity!
An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
Volume 11, Number 5
Since 1949, May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness Month. The purpose is to educate and inform people about the seriousness of mental illness. Over 44 million American adults and millions of children experience some form of mental health problems every year. While mental illness has been traditionally looked upon as a stigma, these individuals need understanding and support. Each one of us knows someone who has been to a therapist or has been hospitalized for a mental or behavioral issue. We urge you to have understanding of them because seldom are these problems by choice. We suggest you start by being aware of your own language usage and do not use terms such as “he is so ADD”, ”she is so bipolar”, or “I am so OCD”.
We also remind you to remember those who gave their lives and those who continue to serve to defend our country on Memorial Day. This month’s E-Letter focuses on The Values of Honesty and Integrity. This information can be also downloaded from our E-Letters tab on our website. Our email of the month is about Rose and our Ask the Doc question is about dealing with a teenage and their room. We hope you find the enclosed information helpful. We also thank you for reading our E-Letters and for the many comments we have received through our over 11 years of E-Letters.
Depression groups. Our ongoing weekly depression therapy groups have been quite successful. A men’s support group and a women’s support group are run by Dr. Jim Kaikobad and meets for one and one-half hours. The group is educational, supportive, and confidential and is limited to 8 people. A third and fourth group will be starting soon. If you are interested in attending, please contact Jillian at 954 755-2885.
Testings. If you are concerned about your child’s school placement for the next school year, this would be a good time to have them evaluated. Recent questions from parents have ranged from should their child be retained to whether they are gifted to whether they have a disability that can qualify for accommodations at school. Our practice does the different types of evaluations to help answer those questions and information about them can be found on our website. If you have more specific questions, please contact Dr. Kimmel.
Afterschool Tutoring. Tutoring for students in grades 1 through 8 is being offered after school and over the summer in our offices. Jill Kimmel, an experienced educator, will be helping students to understand and learn their academic concepts as well as provide assistance in doing homework. To find out more about our tutoring services as well as to schedule an appointment, please contact Jillian at 954 755-2885.
Handouts from previous E-Letters can be found on our website, www.KimmelPsychology.com. We invite you to read and download them if desired.
THE VALUES OF HONESTY AND INTEGRITY!
Our E-Letter this month focuses on what seems to be sorely lacking in America in 2016…the values of honesty and integrity. With this being a year of the presidential election, not only do the politicians lie but so do the spin doctors, the talking heads, and the other assorted media. It seems that it doesn’t matter what one says to get elected, to get their product sold, to get more followers and viewers, to get more air time, or to just influence others. The thinking is to just say whatever and if the dishonesty is found out, to admit no wrong. New terms such as “misspoke” or “walk it back” or “taken out of context” are used to basically not admit to being dishonest while actually being dishonest. If you gave it much thought, what does misspoke or walk it back really mean? Seldom is there an apology or even an acknowledgement of not telling the truth. This is a “get away with it if I can” way of thinking. And it is predominant in television, business, the media, the government, and in reality, everyday life. Lying to others to get what one wants despite the consequences to others is rampant. Consider Bernie Madoff and his lies.
What has happened to the values that underlie the foundation of relationships and society in general? How do you trust someone you know is a liar? Do you expect them to lie only to others and not you? Or are the goals of selling your product, or yourself, or your candidacy more important than doing the right thing. Have we become so jaded that we expect others to lie and accept that it is okay? Advertising, social media, television, films, and retailers have all numbed us to believe their lies to buy what they are selling.
Consider the thousands of lies told on internet dating sites for example. It is expected that the age listed by a person is several years younger than they actually are. The pictures posted are often old and unclear. Lies are frequently told about income, living situations, and even whether they are single or married. This is all done for the poster to get what they want rather than respecting the other person. Millions of posts on the internet are intentionally dishonest to drive traffic to a website or to buy a product. Has this selfishness and lack of concern for the other person become de rigeur in our society? And more importantly are we okay with it?
Whatever happened to doing the right thing? When and where did we lose our commitment to doing the right thing just because it was the right thing to do whether someone was watching or not? We used to have a discomfort level when we knew we were doing the wrong thing. Some people refer to this as guilt but apparently, one can become inured to guilt if we violate our values frequently enough. Interestingly, while one person gets what they want, all of society pays the price because doing the right thing becomes less and less important and is no longer a society value. Relationships and families break down because of lies and society then becomes not just changed but deteriorated.
The “big lie” was used by Hitler to convince German society to marginalize and destroy the Jewish population. We see the same technique being used today by other dictators, governments, and governmental organizations to scapegoat somebody. This technique of ”if you tell a lie often enough, people will believe you” has been updated in modern society. The ability to broadcast this message to millions of people through facebook and twitter allows the big lie to be spread quickly and widely.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. By being honest and having integrity, these values can return to society. It won’t be easy but it is necessary. It is simple. Make a commitment to telling the truth even if it makes you unpopular, you lose friends, or you don’t get what you want. Make a commitment to doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do whether someone is watching or not. If you don’t know what the right thing is, read books on values, listen to others who practice these values, and find role models to emulate. Take pride in knowing that you can be independent, trustworthy, and respectful when you have integrity. You will also have the additional benefits of having less stress, peaceful sleep, and harmony in your life.
We offer the following information on The Values of Honesty and Integrity! (You can download the following from our E-Letter page on our website.)
THE VALUES OF HONESTY AND INTEGRITY!
Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.— W. Clement Stone
WHAT TO KNOW!
- Being dishonest requires a lot of work; one lie leads to another and another and it requires mental effort to keep you stories straight
- Every time we are dishonest, we create a duality; the true world and the world built on falsehoods that require further effort, focus and lying to be maintained
- Dishonesty creates a sense of insecurity in a relationship; lying creates doubts, causes feelings of betrayal, and destroys the sense of safety
- Many people lie because of the short term benefits: it can help one get out of trouble, it can get one what one wants, and it can give us a sense of power by manipulating others
- But if you lie because everyone lies, what makes you different from others?
- Honesty is not only about telling the truth but also about wanting to do the right thing; It reflects character, commitment, and conscious effort
- Being honest leads to respect, closer friendships, greater intimacy, trust, confidence, wellness and less stress
- Being honest with oneself is the key to developing confidence, trust in oneself, and motivation to try harder
- Being honest with others is a major ingredient of building relationships as it means that you are credible and can be trusted
- Being honest requires an initial decision and commitment to be truthful and the courage to keep this commitment which does become easier over time
- It is more important to be honest than nice to people as being dishonest but nice can lead to misunderstandings, conflict and superficial relationships
- Integrity is being honest and having strong moral principles; it is a personal choice to live by standards of honesty and truthfulness and is the opposite of hypocrisy
- Integrity is simply doing the right thing and not making excuses like the ends justifies the means, it all worked out in the end, or no one was hurt so what does it matter
- Integrity includes being introspective and reflective of your own actions to align them with moral standards; it is the doing of actions not the saying of actions
- Integrity simply is always doing the right thing…whether someone is watching or not
- Integrity, like honesty, requires courage to do what is right even if you don’t want to regardless of the consequences or whether you will be accepted by peers
- People who have integrity are reliable, authentic, trusted, respected, and admired
- Self-growth happens when a person is honest with themselves in order to confront their negative thoughts and feelings and has integrity to do what is right
- Make a commitment to always telling the truth and doing what you said you would do
- Evaluate your own system of values and morals
- Do not succumb to peer or social media pressure; strive to be an individual rather than change your values to be like everyone else
- Avoid those who are dishonest, amoral, and untrustworthy
- Emulate role models who are honest and have integrity
- Admit your mistakes and use them as a learning experience
- Seek professional help if you have difficulty living the values of honesty and integrity
WHAT TO DO TO BUILD HONESTY AND INTEGRITY!
WE CAN HELP!
Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at DrKimmel@KimmelPsychology.com
Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
5571 N University Drive, Suite 101
Coral Springs FL 33067
As always, we would like to welcome new readers to our e-Letter. We hope that you find it informational and enjoyable. We invite you to share this e-Letter with others. If you have received this from a fellow reader, please send us your email address to include you on our list.
Ask The Doc
SB writes: I have not been in my fifteen year old son’s room in more than six months. He becomes quite upset and angry if we even knock on his door. His room smells and despite our asking him to keep it clean, he doesn’t listen. We have made the rule of no eating in his room but we think he does. He spends all his free time in his room playing videogames or being on youtube. He locks his door when he goes to school so that we can’t get in. We are worried that he is hiding something and that the room is filthy. What do you suggest we do?
Dr. Joel Kimmel replies: I am sure that this is a very frustrating situation for you. The question I have is who is in charge in your home? It seems like the problem is bigger than just the state of his room. It really has to do with family dynamics.
Your son is like many other teenagers who want their privacy and control over their lives. However, he is making significant efforts to exclude you as well as not listen to your requests. Your son is actually dependent upon you and you need to take back control of your home.
The first step is to realize that you are the parents and the authority in the home. Whatever you son has is by you giving it to him. He has a right to his privacy but not at the expense of secrecy and violation of your requests. I suggest that you have a discussion with him about how you want things to change in the home and what you want his room to be like. He may not listen to you or just “yes” you but you have to specify certain expectations and then follow through on them.
Following through may be difficult for you but it will change his behavior. His isolating is unhealthy for him and while you may have to force him to be open, it will be to his benefit. You need to remember this as he won’t change on his own. You may have to remove certain privileges that he gets from you until you get his attention and he knows you are serious. He will want to drive soon which will give you more leverage over him but only give it to him if he earns it.
Cleanliness is also another important issue that needs to be addressed. Besides the possibility of disease, filth in his room can bring insects and rodents. And, most importantly, these are not your standards. This is your house and you have the right to keep it as you want. If need be, you may have to remove his door so that he can’t isolate and you have access to his room. Consider getting a cleaning service to professionally clean his room.
Remember, you are in charge of your home and he is getting a privilege living in it. If he doesn’t respect his own room, how will he be able to respect himself?
Email of the Month
We would like to thank Al H. for the following email:
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.
I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, ‘Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?’
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, ‘Of course you may!’ and she gave me a giant squeeze.
‘Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?’ I asked.
She jokingly replied, ‘I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…’
‘No seriously,’ I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
‘I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!’ she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.
We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this ‘time machine’ as she shared her wisdom and experience with me..
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.
Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, ‘I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.’
As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ‘ We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.
There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.
We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!
There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.
If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.
Anybody can grow older! That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets..
The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.’
She concluded her speech by courageously singing ‘The Rose.’
She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.
One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it!
These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.
REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.
The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.
If you no longer wish to receive future E-Letter reminders, please send an email to DrKimmel@KimmelPsychology.com requesting to be removed from this list.
If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this E-Letter to your contacts and friends. Copyright © 2016 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.