Integrity – what is it exactly? Some synonyms are honesty, truth, honor and reliability. It is being a person that people can count on. It is being someone who represent truthfulness. It is being trustworthy. It is doing what you say you will do. For me, integrity is very important and I work hard to get back on track when I realize I am out of my integrity. My integrity acts as a guide for me in how I live my life. It is based on my values and beliefs. How, exactly, does it work in your life? What happens to you when you realize you are operating out of your integrity boundaries?
How does integrity develop anyway? I mean, you don’t just wake up one day and say, “I have integrity.” Little children don’t have it. Or, if they have it to start with they lose it. They learn to be truthful by trial and error. They somehow know that when they tell stories and fibs that their parents will find out but they do it until they are caught and then they learn eventually not to do it. It takes some of us all of our lives to learn that.
As we grow older and wiser we learn what works best for us. Those of us who chose integrity sometimes find it hard to live in this society where it seems that so many people do not have integrity, are not trustworthy, truthful, honest and reliable. When we chose integrity we are choosing something higher than ourselves. We are choosing to be authentic. To be true to who are believe we are. We are not afraid to do and say the things that we think are right. Actually, it is very freeing.
When we live in integrity and authenticity we no longer have to do any role playing. We can just be ourselves. There is no need to worry about what other people think of us. That does not matter any more since integrity and authenticity lead us forward into the life we want to live. It is funny but we also begin to live a life that honors other people when we live in integrity and authenticity. We treat them with respect and dignity.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that when we decide to live in integrity and authenticity that we automatically become this wonderful person. No, we are just a person who is in the process of knowing who they are. We get there through trial and error. We stumble and fall down but we also pick ourselves up and acknowledge we have goofed up and try again. It is a decision. One that we make many times a day. It is always a learning path and we are just on a journey along it trying to be the best person we can be.