“Integrity: That which shall be humanly borne and displayed as an essential aspect of truth.”
Well that’s my definition of integrity if no one else’s.
“To live with integrity is to be intimately aligned to one’s truth and core values.”
Again, that’s my take on it.
But I do know from personal experience that if you live your life with integrity and truthfulness, you will never be disappointed in yourself.
There will be others who might not be very happy with you at times, especially when your integrity blocks their intentions, but you will stay true to your own ideals if you maintain your sense of personal integrity and right-action focus.
So what does this mean in today’s integrity-starved world?
For one thing, you will definitely stand out from the crowd—you might even be the focal point of the crowd’s anger, which isn’t the most enjoyable place to be.
For another, you will find yourself reaching very deep within for the strength and courage to keep your integrity untarnished amidst the constant deluge of complaints and insults slung in your direction.
Another possibility? You might lose a friend or two during the process of staying true to your own beliefs on the rightness of a situation or an action.
But the really strange thing about personal integrity is that nearly everyone believes that THEIR core beliefs and the courage of THEIR convictions are the only TRUE ones possible, which makes the rest of our efforts to maintain personal integrity questionable to them.
As much as I value integrity and truth, and I definitely do value them, I also know that what I believe to be the ultimate TRUTH may not be the same as what others believe it to be. We don’t all think and feel the same.
Furthermore, in my rational mind I know that truth is often the perspective of whoever is holding that viewpoint.
But also in my being I know that what I stand for as a loving and compassionate human being is as strong and unwavering as any army’s professed allegiance to any person, place or belief.
Stubbornness is my finest trait or so I’ve been told, because to me integrity is a core value that is worthy of staking one’s personal reputation on and/or career future. Holding one’s personal integrity firm and unbending can define us as compassionate human beings when others around us flutter in the winds of political change and collective opinion.
In the largest sense, our Nation was built on certain fundamental assumptions on rightness and fairness, on equity and justice; and when the integrity of any democratically elected official is in question or fluctuating toward non-democratic ideals, then further exposition and assessment of possible wrong-doing must be allowed to happen. The democracy that supports us depends on the integrity of those who lead it.
If we can’t at least rely on a leader’s integrity to do what is lawful and right as guaranteed to us by our U.S. constitution, then we have little firm ground on which to take a stand.
As I mentioned previously, maintaining one’s integrity is often a tough and lonely stance to take in the face of tumultuous, self-serving opposition, but sometimes it is the only stand we truly have before we are driven to our knees.