the Basica

  Integrity is a wholeness that exists even when there is great diversity. When there are many elements, completeness is achieved by bringing them together in a balanced and harmonious way so that no part is allowed to become either so overpowering or so weak that the whole is threatened. This means no part can suffer fixation or neglect at the expense of the rest for very long.

  The Basican Guide calls for us to maintain the integrity of the entire Guide regarding our actions. This calls for us to be conscientious and responsive, taking the initiative to handle issues and get appropriate help when needed. It requires being honest, at the very least with ourselves, and taking a level headed approach.

  In real life, human beings do not always reach their highest aims. How we handle a mistake or any other less than optimal performance is just as important as avoiding a problem in the first place. Picking ourselves up with renewed commitment and beginning again restores us to balance. If our conscience guides us to recognize a failing and our sense of responsibility prompts us to act accordingly, our integrity will remain intact. It helps to remind ourselves that the same call in the Guide that asks for our integrity also asks for conscience and responsibility on our part, telling us not that it is necessary for us to always be perfect but that we should handle things as well as our ability as human beings allows. This includes acknowledging and managing our errors and shortcomings. While the wrongs of the past may be remembered, they should be used to spur us on, not to prevent us from bothering to keep making an effort.

  Other people will also not always conduct themselves in ways that we enjoy. But having values and living by them is about our own behavior, not the behavior of others. Simply having a strong sense of standards does not compel anyone else to comply with those standards, nor does the failure of others to comply relieve us of our own responsibility to live up to them. While we have as much right to fairness and beneficence as anyone else, the way we handle actions such as self-defense and the creating of rules and regulations must be within the limits of the values we claim to uphold. Again, balance must be achieved in order for integrity not to be lost. This is an area where life can sometimes be difficult, uncomfortable, complicated, or even dangerous. But, as with our errors, this should make us try harder, not cause us to give up.

  The Basican Guide is serious but not unforgiving. It allows us to be patient and encourages us to recognize and explore our own humanity and that of others. It directs us to learn from life rather than expecting us to know everything already. It gives us room to value sensitivity as well as valor, strength, and discipline. Harboring flexibility in our hearts and minds, rising to the challenge of bringing seemingly disparate qualities together, and making our best effort to resolve matters honorably are all part of what keeps us spiritually whole.

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