“Integrity is a word many of us were not taught growing up. Yet it is the core of morality and justice – most of us did not need to define it with a word.” (Albert Einstein). The definition of integrity can easily be found in any dictionary: having a sound moral principle, sincerity, and honesty. However there’s more to integrity than just the definition, it can mainly only be defined by the actions of ones life.
Having a sound moral principle is greatly valued in our society. We search for friends and spouses that have this, we raise our children teaching them to have this characteristic. In our government we elect house of representatives and other officials in belief they have this characteristic of a sound moral principle. But is ones moral principle defined by themselves or others? I find it too often than not that ones moral principles are influenced by others, and fluctuate depending on those surrounding them. Would that be considered as having integrity? I believe “the surest test of an individuals integrity is his refusal to do or say anything that would damage his self-respect” (Thomas Monson). One with integrity does not diminish a belief in resultant of someone else, rather they improve the morals they already have to better their integrity.
In you have integrity, you are a sincere person. Ethnicity, looks, or differences are irrelevant to one who is sincere because judgement is hard to catch coming from ones lips, while acceptance is easily seen in ones actions. Sincerity is valuing others equally, not only when others are around but constantly because “real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not” (Oprah Winfrey). Some may argue the importance of sincerity even when others aren’t around, but their argument is invalid because how can one truly be sincere when others are around if it isn’t a high priority when they are alone. An example of integrity is putting someone in need before yourself without regard to self benefit. Someone with integrity would easily do that without second thought because that is the sincere thing to do. How is sincerity truly measured? In the amount of friends you have? The number of times you have chosen to put others before yourself? The number of times you have been honored for doing something nice? How can one exactly say the way sincerity should be measured, or if it can be measured at all. I believe sincerity isn’t the number of kind things you do, or friends you have. Rather sincerity is a mirror to the soul, and that is reflected in ones integrity.
To have integrity, one must first be a prime believer in honesty. Honesty is defined differently from person to person and though our definitions may vary, we all know the meaning of honesty in our hearts. And thats where honesty roots from, from our heart. Our heart is the only true arbitrator of what is true verses what is false. Integrity and honesty go hand in hand because “integrity is telling [ones self] the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” (Spencer Johnson). Both are important because they require the zeal of ones heart. To be dedicated to honesty is to have integrity in your life, since one cannot have integrity without the consistency of honesty.
This was just a piece I wrote about my view on integrity for a scholarship I ended up winning! I hope y’all enjoyed it! 🙂