In It's Purest Form
If a person of integrity possesses the qualities of goodness, honorableness, morality, righteousness, and virtue, then what would a person who lacks integrity be defined as? Simply, one who lacks these qualities!
Genuine integrity never implies, nor does it accept compromise. Its only judge is the highest standard of truthfulness in all matters. Integrity is not compromised by the guise of situational ethics. No, it stands for what is right, regardless of gain or loss.
It never looks back to think what might have been gained had standards been compromised. Feeling remorse for the person of integrity is saved for the few times he/she may succumb to lowering the bar for some personal gain. And the remorse is deep and heartfelt because a person of integrity is aware that he/she traded a part of their character for a “piece of silver”. Their remorse is haunting because their awareness is high, which in turn serves to strengthen one’s resolve to never fall again.
Integrity is never boastful because it is aware of it’s own fragile nature. It strives to become pervasive in the consciousness of people desiring to live a life of honesty and genuine commitment to what is right.
Integrity demands constant vigilance against the many deceptive lures that promise one personal or financial gain through unethical means. Beware that whatever is gained by unethical means is a disguised time bomb of self-imposed destruction, demanding eventual retribution. In retrospect, the underserved glory or benefit fo the gain will pale in comparision to the real price you wil repay as the clock moves forward. There is no greater price to pay then to trade, for ill-gotten gain, the essence of your character, your innate potential for goodness, and your serenity of mind and spirit.
The “pillow” is hard for the person who lacks integrity. It is soft and comfortable for the one who possesses it. Sleep is restless for the person who lacks integrity and oh so peaceful for the integrative person. Psychological repression of guilt is ever present in the person who lacks integrity, but not at all present in the person who possesses it. And, if one is no longer bothered by their misdeeds done to others to be dishonesty in their business dealings, then that person is unwittingly paying the biggest price of all – they must be constantly running from themselves, and always watching for new quick fixes and new victims to prey upon. They are living in the quagmire of self-deception and self-imposed ignorance, which always must come face-to-face with those moral laws that demand eventual retribution. There is no escape, only a “stay of execution”.
Man is not always immediately punished “for: his misdeeds, but you can count on the fact that he will always be punished “by” his misdeeds. Justice is often a very insidious paymaster. She is not always quick to act, but in some fashion or another, she will always act, but in her own time and way.
A wise person will always place personal integrity at the top of the list of desired virtues for she alone is the custodian of all other virtues.
Personal integrity is your power-base to build all other honorable character traits upon; those traits that build true champions! Personal integrity will prove to be the best friend you’ll ever have as you go through life. She will always hold your self-esteem at the highest level. She will allow you to stand tall in adversity, and humble in victory. Remember this: We grew the character we possess today, one thought, one emotion, and one behavior at a time. The nature and content of each thought, emotion, and behavior over time has fashioned the person we are right now. To become better we must think, choose, and behave better. Know this! We can each build a new and better character but only with one correct moral decision at a time. I promise you that you will never regret traveling through life with personal integrity at the helm.
And, as always, the choice is uniquely yours!