Integrity; Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.
I found a couple sources for my definition, and it started me thinking. One source mentions our integrity shows in our; actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.
Outward acts of behavior versus intent? Too often I put my thoughts to what may be happening when training the horses. I observe the behavior, form my own opinion and react. When in theroy I know I would like to respond, rather than react. I believe responding to behaviors is different than reacting to behaviors. Do you agree? Then what makes me react too quickly? Do I have a preconceived expectation? Am I measuring the action or behavior based on my own measures, and principals? Oh, heck yea.
Our team is tired of hearing me say "I'm missing something, I don't have the same language as the mules when I ask them for something." In reality am I missing something, or am I projecting my own expectations and looking for the outcome to be fullfilled, without truly considering what the mule sees or expects?
The mules' general behaviors are so unique to them. The horses seem to be more predictable. Folks often, and I mean OFTEN, ask "Why mules?" my answer is usually based on my personal opinion and I respond saying "they think more than a horse." Is that really true? I can't tell you if there is research out there to prove it. But, I can tell you it is my belief.
Which brings me back to Integrity. What? How did I get to question integrity?
Our methods show our integrity! Is that what the definition read? Because of the uniqness of the mule and having the reputation to be stubborn, some folks handle them very roughly and almost try to bully them into submission. So, what do our training methods here at Prospect Riding Center tell you about us?
Little Lucy, our smallest retired driving mule seems to lack some socializing skills. She had been mistreated years ago before arriving here. She remembers this and still flinches with anticipation at times. Watch her with a child and she has a special softness about her that you may not see as a grown up! I say grown up because just the prescence of a full grown person can produce fear in her. Yet she will remain softer around a child. Could this reaction be based on the stature and demeanor of a child? Or is a child's integrity undiminished compared to an adults?
Growing up, forming our own opinions and beliefs, what have we lost in our integrity? What can keep us from being whole? I challenge you to ask yourself these questions, as I have.
Prospect Riding Center has a Mission Statement. I too have a personal Mission Statement, it gives me a vision and helps me stay focused on my goals. Have you made your own personal Mission Statement? Take a minute to ponder, ask yourself, "What do my actions say about my Integrity?"
Check out our Facebook Page for a great Integity quote from Bob Marley!