Merriam/Webster – The quality of being honest and fair.
Dictionary.com – Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
Wikipedia – Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
If there was ever a word that the dictionaries did not do justice, integrity is that word.
I would add:
If you make a promise, you keep it.
You are careful not to share what people share in confidence with you.
Tell the truth even when it may cause short term pain.
Don’t give a reason that people “will buy,” give the real reason.
What you think… cannot be bought or influenced.
Truth and honesty is more important to you than anything else.
You don’t agree with something to fit in.
Tell people what they need to hear not what they want to hear.
No matter how you may be tested or tempted, you stick to what you believe is right.
The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. It’s easier to be whole or complete, meaning you are who you are, you believe what you believe. It’s harder to have “situational integrity,” meaning you decide who you are and what you believe based on the situation you are in at the moment. Figuring out what people want you to think or say is a lot of guess work. “Situational integrity” is a lot of work. Having whole or complete integrity is much easier. All you have to figure out is what you believe is right.
You are a person that has taken in years of information and you have come to a conclusion about how things ought to be. You are complete rather than a collection of things based on the situation you are in. You do not have “situational character.” Your character ebbs and flows but stays in a general direction. The key, of course, is that at your core you must believe in truth, honesty, fairness, etc.
As I have mentioned in many articles about telling the truth, telling people what you believe doesn’t justify being a difficult person. You don’t have to disagree with everyone. Everyone doesn’t need to know what you believe or think. Sometimes all you have to do is say nothing to keep your integrity.
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