Thoughts on Integrity

Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, or moral uprightness. It is colloquially a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.
in-teg-ri-ty

  1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
    “he is known to be a man of integrity”
    synonyms: honesty, probity, rectitude, honor, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness
    “I never doubted his integrity”
    antonyms: dishonesty
  2. the state of being whole and undivided.
    “upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”
    synonyms: unity, unification, coherence, cohesion, togetherness, solidarity
    “the integrity of the federation”
    antonyms: division
    the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction.
    “the structural integrity of the novel”
    synonyms: soundness, strength, sturdiness, solidity, durability, stability, stoutness, toughness
    “the structural integrity of the aircraft”
    antonyms: fragility
    internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data.
    “integrity checking”

 

integrity-oprah

I figured I’d write about integrity today, in light of our lack of presidential integrity. Actually, he is “whole” and “complete” in his own way, just that most of us don’t agree with his kind of integrity. His character shows that he doesn’t understand honesty or ethics, and that his integrity is all about what works for him – not all of us.

Integrity means that every part supports every other part. It’s the structure that gives shape and foundation to the flesh of the building, the body, or the psyche. For human beings, it includes a set of values and ethics that give meaning to our lives and actions. They give wholeness to our society.

When integrity is missing, we may not notice at first. We float along, doing what is expedient, until we notice that things are disjointed, out of place and out of sync. Then, we may see that our integrity was compromised along the way or we may not, but only by actively pursuing and expressing our integrity can we move forward. We have to bring it back into being.

Integrity doesn’t just happen, as if by accident. It’s an active principle in our lives. We choose integrity. We choose honesty. We choose to be whole. We choose to be trustworthy – and to trust others. We choose. It’s how we build character – by choosing integrity when nobody is watching.

Integrity falls apart when we choose to lie. Integrity falls apart when we choose to cheat or steal from another, or cheat on our taxes, or fudge the truth. Integrity suffers. And our lives suffer as a result. Our society suffers as a result.

I keep saying that our society suffers. Actually, it does. Society reflects the best of all of us together. As long as we express integrity and choose it, our society is greater than if we don’t choose integrity. A society can only grow if it’s based on integrity, or it will fall apart. It needs the structure and flesh of individuals working together to be whole.

Integrity is a personal choice. If our president cannot exhibit integrity, the rest of us must.

 

 

10/30/18 updated and edited typo…. (oops!)

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