What is Integrity.
Integrity is the qualifications of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to hold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.
Integrity, for me, is a way of life. It is what you do in the light and dark. It is not merely words or lip-service to make you look good. It’s not done to receive pats on the back from other people. It is genuinely being the absolute best version of you.
I was asked to answer a while back, about honestly, I don’t feel that I can give a better answer than Barry Hampe on this question.
‘’Integrity means doing the right thing and being dependable. It is being impeccable in all of your actions, public and private. It means standing for what you believe in and being a man who can be trusted in all situations.”
A man of integrity is one whom you can trust with your money, you can trust him with your life. A man of integrity will do the right thing at all times. If he comes to a rare situation where he has been shown to be wrong, he will immediately correct the situation. He will not allow his own pride to interfere with doing the right thing.
And this virtue is highly prevalent in children, who are mentored in schools by their teachers & fellow students, however sometimes, corrupted by this world, usually some Parents, Grandparents and Relatives, who take it for granted, that these small dishonesty is ok to achieve their goals.
This reminds me of a famous short story entitled “A Mother in Mannville,” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. A writer meets a boy who has integrity.
The boy in the story, a young orphan hired to do chores for the writer, seems to have it:
His name was Jerry; he was twelve years old, and he had been at the orphanage since he was four. I could picture him at four, with the same grave gray-blue eyes and the same –independence? No, the word that comes to me is “integrity.”
The word means something very special to me, and the quality for which I use it is a rare one. My father had it — there is another of whom I am almost sure — but almost no man of my acquaintance possesses it with the clarity, the purity, the simplicity of a mountain stream. But the boy Jerry had it. It is bedded on courage, but it is more than brave. It is honest, but it is more than honesty. The ax handle broke one day. Jerry said the woodshop at the orphanage would repair it. I brought money to pay for the job and he refused it.
“I’ll pay for it,” he said. “I broke it. I brought the ax down careless.”
“But no one hits accurately every time,” I told him. “The fault was in the wood of the handle. I’ll see the man from whom I bought it.”
It was only then that he would take the money. He was standing back of his own carelessness. He was a free-will agent and he chose to do careful work, and if he failed, he took the responsibility without subterfuge.
And he did for me the unnecessary thing, the gracious thing that we find done only by the great of heart. Things no training can teach, for they are done on the instant, with no predicted experience. He found a cubbyhole beside the fireplace that I had not noticed. There, of his own accord, he put kindling and “medium” wood, so that I might always have dry fire material ready in case of sudden wet. A stone was loose in the rough walk to the cabin. He dug a deeper hole and steadied it, although he came, himself, by a short cut over the bank. I found that when I tried to return his thoughtfulness with such things as candy and apples, he was wordless. “Thank you” was, perhaps, an expression for which he had had no use, for his courtesy was instinctive. He only looked at the gift and at me, and a curtain lifted, so that I saw deep into the clear well of his eyes, and gratitude was there, and affection, soft over the firm granite of his character.
“A Mother in Mannville” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings