Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I: Integumentary Integrity

How much of our body contains:
  • 19 million cells,
  • 625 sweat glands,
  • 90 oil glands,
  • 19 feet of blood vessels,
  • 19,000 sensory cells?
The answer: one square inch of human skin. And our skin covers about 20 square feet on the average adult. The human skin is considered the largest organ in the body (about 16% of your body weight).  Pretty important organ.
Our skin has many  functions that help keep the body stabilized, including protection. It keeps things in that should be in and keeps things out that don't need to be there.   Some, like me, is white and full of freckles.  Some can be described as porcelain. Some is different shade of brown or black.  It's unique to each person. We color it with tattoos.  We put chemicals on it to keep it from betraying our true age.
Skin.  It's pretty awesome.
So what happens if we don't have skin? Anything that wants to can attack our insides.  Our insides come out. Just one little cut can become a major infection if not attended to. Cancer can start and eat through if we stay in the sun too long without sunscreen. When our skin's intact we don't have to worry about attacks from dirt and germs.
Our skin's appearance says a lot about who we are on the inside so it's important for skin to maintain it's integrity--Ha, you knew that was coming,  right? Skin integrity protects us, but only if we pay attention to it.  Like personal integrity.  If it's intact we have less to worry about.
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.--Mark Twain

What is Integrity?
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the skin or character.  
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of skin or character.  

Character is what we do when nobody's looking.
Sometimes it's easier to do the right thing when nobody's there to make fun of you. In our jobs there are those who will always do as little as possible. They make up names for the hard workers.    But, in the end, sticks and stones may hurt us, but our words and actions are what help us keep from being laid off. Integrity protects us.
Integrity describes character when everybody's looking.
We have to plan ahead to have integrity.  It's not just in the big things, but the little ones as well.  On our skin, you don't have to have a big cut to get an infection. Sometimes it's the smallest scratch that causes the most damage. Little things--one day called in that you're not really sick, one time doing a half-hearted job, one damaging thing said about a co-worker, just one time giving in. If we don't deal with it, the damage doesn't heal and our integrity is breached.
Integrity doesn't demand perfection, just consistency. 
Keep true. Never be ashamed of doing right. Decide on what you think is right and stick to it.  George Elliot

Look at your integrity.  What does it say about you?  Is it intact or is there a cut that needs cleaning?


  1. What an awesome post!!!!!!!!!!!!! That Mark Twain quote is so true. "Character is what we do when nobody's looking." Those are eight super important words. Everyone needs to read this. Tweeting your post, Bethie!

  2. "what some does when no one is looking..." This is what shows who you really are.

    Awesome post! Robyn tweeted it and I saw her tweet.

  3. Thanks for the encouraging words and tweeting the word.

  4. Great, great post, Beth. Loved it and learned a lot!

  5. I'm with Twain - about telling the truth, that is - lies tend to entangle one another. And one might hope that the character that guides us when nobody is looking also finds its way into being the essence of who we are when everyone is looking.

    Enjoyed this weaving of information. Much to ponder tonight...

    1. When in doubt, you can always go with Mark Twain. He had an opinion on everything it seems!

  6. This is a really awesome post! I really like reading your blog and posts. Your posts are amazing.