After more than 5 decades why am I still surprised when people are dishonest, manipulative or just plain old mean? Granted, my simple take on this could be from growing up in one of those rare, lovingly functional families where the only thing my parents loved more than each other was us kids. But that world faded after the 2nd decade when I got on with adult life. And like everyone I’ve experienced heartbreak, disappointment, loss, tragedy…  So why am I unjaded?  Always expecting the good-stuff from people — and always shocked when folks don’t fly-right?

The I-Ching says: The inherent state of human nature is to be without guile: Innocence.”

The image that nails-it on how I feel every day is from the fairytale: ‘The Emperor’s New Suit’. I’m that scruffy kid on the side of the road — But He’s Naked!! Truth. Obvious to me. I always see what’s really there beyond the veils… Who we are without the illusions, the baggage, the trappings — all that self-abnegating juju.

Now, I don’t intentionally look for it or examine people, it’s simply what I see: the innate good, the truth, the Essence in everyone. I’ve decided it’s something in my DNA that gives me this empathic nature. But the bane of it is that when I say what I see it shocks people. Especially if they haven’t questioned who they are or how they are, and I’ve had to repair myself from that fallout many, many times…

I’ve noticed: When our illusions are much stronger than our desire for truth — we’re in love with the myth — instead of ourselves…

I’ve wrestled with this innocence, this trust, the yearning for people to wake up get past the crap and see what I see in them — all my life! Sometimes I just wanna SHOUT out: It’s not hard, it’s easy, it ain’t complicated, it’s simple, just be kind — just make a choice, or maybe a lot of little choices…  What’s it gonna take to drop the juju that smothers the good stuff? And it’s not about I’m ok you’re ok everything’s ok and that’s ok — I’m not naïve, more like:

How is this so simple for me? It’s about: Innate Integrity applied. I’ve asked myself a lot of questions about this, to keep on track with the good-stuff. Cause if I poke at others illusions as part of my nature, I better be walkin’ my own talk!

So I boiled it down to 3 questions I ask myself before I choose, speak, or act; kinda like a template on everything I do.

It’s 3 Integrity Questions, my 3 IQ’s.

IQ number 1: Does it harm — myself or anyone else?

IQ number 2: Do I have any polarizing agenda?

IQ number 3: Is there anything less than Truth?

When I answer “No” to all 3 — I’m on track.

But if my answer is “yes” to any of those questions — it’s probably time to REconsider what I’m considering….

And Oh Yeah! I have Big Plans for my 3 IQs. I want to get ‘em stamped into Bronze Plaques and hung in every chamber and committee room in congress. So with every decision, law, plan, ALL OF IT: they are required by law to ask the 3 IQs, get the “NO” answers —

or they don’t do it.

PS: My friend Elizabeth suggests a 4th IQ: ‘What would Love do?’