Integrity covers so many different things, I think people get caught up in the moralistic portion of it. And while morals are a big part of integrity, they certainly aren’t the whole of what integrity should be about.
Integrity can also be comprised of “sticking to your guns” no matter the consequences. I can be a rather mouthy person when I want to be, and oftentimes I’ve been categorized as a bitch because of it, and rightly so. But I don’t compromise my integrity by hiding behind a mask of lies. On the same token, I am not beyond reasoning. I do my best to see both sides of every situation and then formulate my opinion, and stick with that opinion rather than try to appease. It does not place me in a popular light sometimes, but that’s a consequence I’m willing to live with, in order to keep the integrity of who I am, in tact.
Follow through, is another important aspect, being dependable. Being someone that your friends, your faith, your job, and your family can count on. No one wants the reputation of being untrustworthy, whether it’s with finances, or even helping a friend move. And no one should expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter. Integrity is being able to stand on your own two feet and take responsibility. If you can’t do that, then you’ve got nothing.
And yes, integrity is following your morals. I’ve written my own set of moral guidelines that follow both the warrior lifestyle and my own personal spirituality. Perhaps I will post them at another time. But in the mean time, I was met with a moral dilemma recently, when I was accidentally sent an extra product in an order of mine. I consulted with various communities of my peers, livejournal, myspace, etc, to figure out what I should do. Whether I should send the item back, whether I should keep it, whether I should call them.
I received two very different answers from the communities, which was actually surprising. The livejournal community, in not so little words, was very adamant that if I had kept the product, I would be compromising my integrity to the fullest degree. It was thievery, it was unmoral, and they would most certainly ALL call and return the item.
My personal journal and myspace all had very different views. They would have kept the item, and felt no remorse for doing so. It was a very big billion-dollar company, so they felt no obligation to return a piece of plastic that cost mere pennies.
I did keep the item, but I didn’t keep it in order to get back at a billion-dollar corporation, and I didn’t keep it out of greed. Whatever provoked the item to be sent to me is not something I could have changed, and I’m not going to question it. I used the item to replace what I was using previously, and instead donated my old one to a friend in need. In addition to that, I saved myself money, which is a plus because I devote my life to taking care of my fathers medical bills, and they will always come first.
Integrity? I still feel like it’s in tact.
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