If honor be your clothing,
the suit will last a lifetime;
but if clothing be your honor,
it will soon be worn threadbare.
~ William Arnot
Much is made of the condition we call integrity; and rightly so.
Certainly we want it from our leaders - be they among the body politic, scholastic institutions, employers, churches, the medical community, and even our neighborhoods.
I believe we desire it most from our family members and friends and - hopefully - from ourselves (though I am suspicious about one's ability to assess such a personal condition with objectivity). After-all, it is among these that we most want integrity's by-product: trust.
than with any other man I have ever met.
~ Dwight Lyman Moody
Integrity derives from the concepts of integration, or integer (a complete number; the lowest common denominator). It implies congruency & steadfastness. In it's broader scope it means ...
1 : firm adherence to a code (especially moral or artistic values); incorruptibility
2 : an unimpaired condition/soundness
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided
Incorrupt ... unimpaired ... sound ... complete ... undivided. Powerful attributes!
While there's plenty of talk about the pivotal role integrity plays in our lives, it's safe to say: There's a lot more to integrity than meets the eye.
It's equally safe to say, even though we speak far less of it: There's a lot more to the lack of integrity than meets the eye.
Isn't that always the way with the flipside of any coin? What looks all lovely on the upside isn't so pretty on the downside.
So what, exactly, does that look like; integrity's lack?
Simply put, it is the chink in the armor that allows one to be duplicitous, irresponsible, dishonest and unethical - both consciously and unconsciously.
Worse, it empowers & enables excuses, rationalizations and justifications. It exempts this behavior or that from the more rigorous demands of the moral high ground (aka the biblical standards for the believer) on the grounds that said behavior is warranted.
the most useful thing about a principle
is that it can always be sacrificed
~ Somerset Maugham
be measured by his special exertions,
but by his habitual acts.
~ Blaise Pascal
For the rest of us, it's the challenge of living out our lives in such a way that both the root system and resultant foliage of those lives be incorrupt.
It takes integrity to have integrity.