I am $400 Away From Having Real Integrity

2014-snell-roy-speaking-headshot-200By Roy Snell

If police should wear body cameras why shouldn’t everyone wear one? Believe me, I am all about privacy. Every chance I can, I go to a remote cabin in Canada to get away from all the electronics. However, what would happen if I wore a body camera? I am a fairly reasonable human being, but I started thinking what my life would be like if I had a camera strapped to my chest. I find the idea that I would behave differently just because of a camera to be simply fascinating. Do you want to know what real integrity is? Try visualizing a GoPro strapped to your chest for a week.

As wrong or ridiculous as the idea may be… it would change everything. I could no longer swear at a guy cutting me off in traffic. It would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to lose my temper. I could not go over the speed limit. I could not double dip, even if no one was looking. I could not talk poorly about someone who wasn’t in the room. I could not gossip. I could not placate one person who said something I disagreed with and then agree with someone else with the opposite perspective. I could never claim a faulty recollection of a conversation to get out of trouble. If someone shared something with me in confidence, I would have to keep it confident… from everyone. I would have to tell the truth every time, not just most of the time.

Even though I am not a very bad guy, my life would change completely if I wore a body camera. That’s really shocking to me. I would have… integrity. I mean real integrity. Stunningly, I just realized I am $400 away from true integrity. I am sure there are some people that have 24/7 integrity, but it’s not a lot of people. What does this say about our effort to behave with integrity? What is the definition of integrity? Integrity is how you would act with a camera strapped to your chest. Why can’t I have near 100% integrity without a GoPro? It’s because it would take more effort and cause occasional tension. It that a good tradeoff? Some say it’s unrealistic to be truthful all the time. Is it really? I think it might be a choice. Do you think you have integrity? Try strapping on a GoPro for a week and find out if you change your behavior.


  1. Yes! I offer this variation to a famous quote: “Our character is what we do when we don’t have a GoPro strapped to us,” with apologies to Oliver Wendall Holmes.

  2. “I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber, one has some day to cry aloud from the housetop.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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