Three Steps to Upgrading Your Societal and Political Integrity as an Everyday Citizen

by Dr. David Gruder

There are numerous varieties of integrity that all of us are wise to enhance in ourselves: personal integrity, relationship integrity, societal and collective integrity, leadership integrity, and political integrity.

Politicians are not the only ones who need to upgrade their political integrity. So do everyday citizens, especially those who vote and those who are approaching the age when they can begin voting.

Here are three crucial steps for upgrading your societal and political integrity as an everyday citizen:

  1. Become More Teachable: As strong as your opinions about a social issue might be, you can be reasonably confident that you only see a fraction of the whole picture about that issue. And you probably have the most to learn from those whose opinions are the opposute of yours. Allow yourself to become more humble about what you don’t know so that you upgrade your teachability.
  2. Become More Discerning: Issues are far more complex than professional position-takers, such as the politicians and spin doctors who dominate our societal consciousness, would like you to realize. Take steps to become more discerning so that you become increasingly capable of separating fact from spin. Keep in mind that when listening to a pundit’s proclamations, regardless of whether or not you agree with their position or ideology, you have no immediate way of knowing what facts they are conveniently omitting from their argument and what extent they are distorting the supposed ‘facts’ they are espousing. As I repeatedly say in the media interviews I give: "What you think is fact is probably spin." Discernment, and specifically critical thinking, inoculates you against treating spin as fact. Discernment is the key to becoming more propaganda-proof.
  3. Become More Focused on Collective Highest Good: Special interest groups aren’t the only ones wanting to twist the public’s vision of collective highest good to suit their needs. We ourselves do this whenever we make the needs of any affinity group more important than collective highest good. Affinity groups include our labor union, our religion, our favorite social  cause, and so on. In contrast, the better you are at discovering the intersection of "me," "we" and "all of us," the more you will be able to discern what truly serves collective highest good. This skill is the heart of what I call Stewardship. This ability makes us capable of identifying candidates for political office (or the corporate executive suite) who have the greatest leadership integrity, regardless of whether or not you agree with their positions on all issues.

Teachability, Discernment and Stewardship are three of the Seven WisePassions you learn about in The New IQ book and discover how to upgrade in yourself, your relationships and your world in its accompanying workbook.

No matter what country you live in, now is the time to further upgrade your political integrity as part of preparing to voting in your next local or national elections — or selecting your next organizational leader or business executive.

The New IQ book and workbook can help you upgrade your societal and political integrity, whether you are an everyday citizen, a community leader, a business executive or a politican or other government official.

As a final note about this for the moment, I think it is important to bear in mind that one of the reasons we seek experts and elect people to represent us is because we can’t be expected to know enough about all of the complexities and nuances of complicated issues that are outside our own areas of expertise.

As tempting as it might be to select politicians who say things that make it appear as though they agree with our positions on issues, making decisions based on this criterion may not be as safe a strategy as you might think. Selecting politicians based on how developed you believe they are in their Teachability, Discernment and Stewardship (as well as the other politician integrity dimensions covered in the Politician Integrity Rating Tool) may be a much wiser way to choose.

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