Jenna and I are reading To Kill a Mockingbird together. The other night we came across a passage that held me up to the light and showed some deficiencies. Miss Maudie and Scout are discussing the saneness of Boo Radley and Scout says,
“You reckon he’s crazy?”
Miss Maudie shook her head. “If he’s not he should be by now. The things that happen to people we never really know. What happens in houses behind closed doors, what secrets—
“Atticus don’t ever do anything to Jem and me in the house that he don’t do in the yard,” I said, feeling it my duty to defend my parent.
“Gracious child, I was raveling a thread, wasn’t even thinking about your father, but now that I am I’ll say this: Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.”
Well, that got me thinking. Am I the same in my house as on the public streets? Would I do anything or say anything in the house that I wouldn’t do or say in the yard? What’s my behavior like when no one is watching or when just certain people are watching? We have a word for that kind of consistency: integrity.