Let’s Try Integrity When Attempting Community

Let’s Try Integrity When Attempting Community

Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

I believe relationships, while the basis for happiness according to a 75 year Harvard study, must be honest and free of fear. If they are not, we all lose.

Robert Waldinger has received 2½ million views of his November 2015 TED Talk: “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.” In this talk Waldinger tells of a 75 year Harvard study of 724 men from their teenage years into their 90’s. The men studied came from two groups: a class of Harvard sophomores; and children from the poorest neighborhoods in Boston. Sixty of these men are still alive. Basically the study discovered that our relationships are the single most important element accounting for our happiness.

Would if these relationships are contrived and don’t accurately reflect who we are, what we think and believe? In short would if we find we’re just playing a game?

Trevor Laffan recently retired after 35 years from An Garda Siochana, the national police service of Ireland. Garda has a stated purpose of Working with Communities to Protect and Serve. Writing for theJournal.ie, an Irish online post similar to the Huffington Post in the U.S. he laments the demise of community policing. He spent 20 years there. In his article he describes how his fellow officers desire for advancement led to the community policing’s demise. Basically he writes that his fellow officers were fearful of reporting what they experienced at the grass roots level for fear of upsetting those above them in the hierarchy, and limiting their chance of advancement.

We can each do something to reverse the demise of our institutions, increase our own job satisfaction, and to build lasting relationships. Here are just a few examples:

  • When you disagree with the boss, or anyone for that matter, respectfully tell them you see things differently.
  • Always put your integrity first and trust this will serve all concerned.
  • Let advancement happen. If it doesn’t, find a new job or in my case a new volunteer position.

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