Definition of integrity
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The Judicial branch of the state of Connecticut, U.S.A. trains department personell using this material. The U.S. Air Force Safety Center also trains using this material. The country of Zimbabwe requires government personell to read my personal definition of integrity. The founder of [the] Corporate Managers Association has cited this article as: "Worldwide, [this is] regarded as the best article ever written about integrity and can be a constant reminder to all of us." Requests for copy of portions or all of this information were made by countries, U.S. state, county and city governments to broadcast over television, radio, quote in a book and was used by pastors, priests, rabbi, junior high, high school and college students, police officers and police chiefs, fire fighters, fire captains and fire chiefs, professors, teachers, rehab directors and three Fortune 500 companies for research papers, dissertations, newsletters, employee training manuals, behavioral manuals and general information for family and friends of those requesting permission to use the material. Contact me for permission.The Judicial branch of the state of Connecticut, U.S.A. trains department personell using this material. The U.S. Air Force Safety Center also trains using this material. The country of Zimbabwe requires government personell to read my personal definition of integrity. The founder of [the] Corporate Managers Association has cited this article as: "Worldwide, [this is] regarded as the best article ever written about integrity and can be a constant reminder to all of us." Requests for copy of portions or all of this information were made by countries, U.S. state, county and city governments to broadcast over television, radio, quote in a book and was used by pastors, priests, rabbi, junior high, high school and college students, police officers and police chiefs, fire fighters, fire captains and fire chiefs, professors, teachers, rehab directors and three Fortune 500 companies for research papers, dissertations, newsletters, employee training manuals, behavioral manuals and general information for family and friends of those requesting permission to use the material. Contact me for permission.
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According to Merriam Webster, integrity is:
1 - firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: INCORRUPTIBILITY
2 - an unimpaired condition: SOUNDNESS
3 - the quality or state of being complete or undivided COMPLETENESS
synonym see HONESTY

According to Oxford Dictionary, (the origin of) integrity is:

integrity / ntegriti /
ORIGIN - Latin: integritas; from integer ‘intact, whole’. Noun
1 - the quality of being honest and morally upright.
2 - the state of being whole or unified.
3 - soundness of construction.

 

A few thoughts on the matter: The following information is simply one person's opinion based on life experiences and a personal understanding of truth and honesty--which are part of the foundational aspects of true integrity.

 

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Integrity is a skillTraining

1) As with all skills, they are developed and learned over time. For example, few people have an inherent skill in math and most people must learn the rules and exceptions associated with math to finally get a grasp of the concept. As a result, math is learned after repeating special techniques over and over, including doing some memorization. This is also true with Integrity.

2) A qualified carpenter must endure years of training, practice and exposure to different building materials and various construction situations that call for his talent. Integrity must also endure years of practice and exposure to life situations, for integrity is NOT necessarily inherent within a person's temperament and personality. Instead, integrity is a trait that is taught and learned over an individual's lifetime.
Who, what, where, when, why and how

3) Each of us, individually, have to learn what integrity is, how it works, who can have it, when to use it, where it applies and why it is so important in your personal definition of success. ONLY you can apply integrity into your life. You can not force integrity on someone else and no one can force integrity on you and expect it to last. The people who can “have” integrity are those who want it and see its value. No one else.
Point of reference

4) Integrity is a guideline, a benchmark, a point of reference or a goal that is used to make decisions that rely on truth and honesty. All things are related to this point of reference and judged accordingly. To maintain integrity, you must remember to refer to truth and honesty in ALL decisions, thoughts, actions and reactions. That is not an option if you are to have and maintain integrity in your life.
A great tower

5) Integrity is something that a person builds and maintains during a lifetime. You can consider integrity as a building within a person's heart that starts when the person is young. This "building" begins with the first hole that is dug. Once the hole is dug, the foundation is laid--usually by parents and other leaders (i.e. educational or religious institutions). The walls follow with windows and doors added along the way. The windows would allow for transparency and serve as a type of checks-and-balances. The doors would allow for simple modification of a person's definition of integrity to enter into the training; trusting it's for the better. The roof is added later and serves to protect already established principles from negative outside forces.
Tomorrow is a new day

6) Leaving the past where it is, picking up the pieces and moving on is critical if you choose to "turn over a new leaf." Keys that lead to success in this endeavor include attitude, understanding, grasping the reigns of life firmly and implementing a new and improved plan to pursue which allows tomorrow to be a clean slate for you. Let the past go and concentrate on the present and the future.

Looking back is important to learn from our mistakes--but leave it at that--"looking back." Do not bring the past into the present or the future for any other reason, especially if the past is tainted in any way. Make new memories; memories that are ethical and moral; blameless memories that shout and echo integrity.
Act as if

7) Looking back is important to learn from our mistakes--but leave it at that--"looking back." Do not bring the past into the present or the future for any other reason, especially if the past is tainted in any way. Make new memories; memories that are ethical and moral; blameless memories that shout and echo integrity.
Maintenance

9) Integrity must be maintained. A janitor works as a caretaker and you must be like a janitor to maintain true integrity. If you avoid the dust that settles and do not remove the trash that accumulates, your (definition of) integrity begins to diminish and decrease in value.

A strict maintenance schedule must be kept or the integrity that has taken a lifetime to build could come crumbling down in a matter of minutes.

Loss of integrity

11) It is critical to note that integrity can be lost or compromised beyond recognition in a person's life. Having personally experienced this, I am in the process of re-establishing integrity in my own life and I find it is not easier the second time around.

Recognizing that your integrity was compromised or is totally lost from your life is the first step and perhaps the largest step of many to come. The second step is to do something about it—and that is to make the decision to plant a new seed and water it daily—even minute-to-minute.

Honesty

13) To be honest is to apply integrity to a situation, circumstance or instance. It is important to note that honesty and integrity go hand-in-hand without exception or separation.

There are few things that complicate an issue or hurt more than dishonesty. At least honesty leaves a person with some sense of closure and dignity—despite the fact that honesty may sometimes hurt because you will know the truth.

Integrity will:

  • will begin and continue as a personal ON-GOING decision to stand firm on inherently good principals
  • will most likely take the long, straight and narrow road and does not cave into lying, cheating or stealing
  • will tell the truth over a lie despite the consequences
  • will suffer the consequences instead of compromising itself
  • will help to steer a person clear of those that easily bow to a corrupt nature
  • will lend a helping hand simply as a by-product of this special lifestyle decision
  • will diminish and eventually disappear if you choose to ignore and abandon its blessing
  • will set you apart from a great number of people who chose to follow the lead of a popular drummer
  • will sometimes separate you from the "in-crowd," but that is not always the case
  • will, on some occasions, make other people feel uncomfortable around you because of their own insecurities, problems and guilt
  • will impress others only because of your decision to adhere to a (sometimes) difficult lifestyle
  • will sometimes put you into tight situations that APPEAR to be needlessly difficult
  • will allow for rebuilding. It will come back and continue to blossom if you choose and allow it to grow within.
The great cathedral

18) You can live life the way you want. That is to say, for good or for evil. Before we move on, I would like to suggest the following story for your consideration:

Back in the middle ages (400-1400 A.D.) a great cathedral was under construction and employed many skilled laborers. One day a strange man came to town and asked several of the men what they were doing.

One man answered, "I have to lay this brick to feed my nagging wife and my many ungrateful children."

Another answered by saying, "I am trying to pass the time until I die and at the same time keep myself afloat."

Another man said, "I am following my father's footsteps and doing what I am told."

An old man answered, "I am a mason, this is what I do."

Yet another man was heard saying, "I do this because I have many debts to pay."

Then the stranger saw a young man laying brick who worked feverishly unlike the other workers. Intrigued, the stranger questioned this young man next.

After hearing the question, the young brick layer stopped, studied the yet unfinished building and answered by saying,

"I am taking part in the greatest building project in history. A cathedral unlike any other in the world. One of surpassing beauty and size. This cathedral will be the greatest the world has ever seen. I am only laying the block, but my efforts will help this great cathedral to stand the test of time so future generations can marvel at and appreciate its awesome beauty."

Needless-to-say, the previous story about the building of the cathedral reveals that it is not what you have to do, it is not what you want to do or what you think you should do, but it is about "how" you do all things in life.

How you do what you have to do; how you do what you want to do and how you do what you think you should do, will determine your success.

You will "have to do things," You will "want to do things," and You will "think you should do things" your whole life, but it is the quality of how you do those things that ultimately matters.

Integrity plays a critical part in quality decisions, thoughts and actions. It will be obvious in how you act and react to expected and unexpected circumstances.

The gifted musician (practice)

23) Everybody enjoys one or several types of music, regardless of their sex, culture, age or beliefs. Music is truly one of the few universal avenues for musicians to express themselves where others will consider their art despite their social standing in society.

Most people enjoy listening to music, but few enjoy both listening to and creating music. Some musicians are good; some musicians are great and there are those who are exceptionally gifted at creating music or playing an instrument. Even the gifted musicians must practice regularly.

I attended a concert recently where a fan of the featured musician anxiously walked up to his favorite performer and said; "You are an outstanding musician!"

The artist replied by saying; "Thank you. I appreciate you saying so. I practice every day."

Just as the great musician must practice everyday to maintain their high-level of artistic talent, so too must we practice implementing integrity into our every-day lives.

Remembering to practice

26) Allowing integrity to seep out every now-and-then is not acceptable if we are to benefit fully from the blessing that integrity has to offer over a lifetime. Integrity should be allowed to flow freely in the mainstream of our thoughts and actions. That, realistically, does not happen over night. It is a decision we must make every morning after we wake up. It is a decision we need to REMEMBER to make every morning after we wake up and throughout the day.

Studies show that if you do something twenty-one times in a row (but not like a robot in immediate succession), that "function" should be ingrained enough into your life it becomes second nature.

A simple note on the bathroom mirror, one just above the door knob of your bedroom or some place where you are sure to see it every morning—for 21 days or more—should do the trick. Give it a shot.

A decision

28) You can do it.

It is as simple as a decision—one of many that will be based on wisdom, good judgment, discernment and knowledge.

Choose to incorporate integrity into your life today.

Requests for permissionBack to top

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November 12, 2013 9:49 pm PST

"I want to use your definition of Integrity as a form of Ministry to our Ministers wives who I would like to equip in knowledge, this word of Integrity . Which I know that it is important to have in our daily life. The way you interpreted this word or defined it impacted my life....I would like to share it with them in my meetings that we have every Wednesday!

Sincerely your servant,

Sister Marcela!"

Marcela G.
Los Frenos Tx 78566

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November 13, 2013 at 10:20 am PST

"Clearly inspired and obviously heartfelt, with a great deal of wisdom thrown in. It is an honor for the opportunity to be able to use this for my family's personal growth. Your name and website will always be noted for credit and reference. I appreciate your willingness to share this with the public.

Michelle P.
Ohio USA

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October 14, 2013 @ 10:37 pm PDT

I am preparing a book as a Christmas gift for family of quotes and ideas from Lord of the Rings -- a theme of that seems to be integrity. I would like to use some of your quotes to support my points. This is just a one book-- just hand written for nephews and nieces.

Leslie G.
Celeste, Texas United States

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RebuildingBack to top

8) Just as you can re-build a house when it falls down, you too can you re-establish integrity if you fall away from its blessing. Note that in reality if a house must be rebuilt, it does not happen in a matter of hours or days. It is a process.
A plant

10) Integrity can also be considered as a plant. It is planted as a seed in youth by loved ones, watered in childhood by the individual and eventually blossoms in adulthood producing fruit. The more you water it throughout life, the more it grows and blooms. As with plants, if neglected at any point, it WILL wither and die. If your plant has died, simply plant a new seed. Water it daily and make sure it gets plenty of sun! Note that a plant does not blossom immediately but must go through a life cycle first. So, getting familiar with how integrity works will take a while.
Delusions are simpleBack to top

12) Have no illusions; integrity is not especially easy. Just as you can find and implement integrity into your own life, so too can integrity be lost. Some of the most destructive things and behavior in life are easy and simple to accomplish.

One thing you can almost always count on in life; if it is worth anything of real value, it will probably not be easy.
Holding up to the test

14) Consider the cup that cannot hold water. A person that lives their life without integrity is like a cup that cannot hold water. The crack may be invisible to the eye, but if it doesn't hold up to the test, that cup is virtually worthless. Many people walk around with a small crack that is easily hidden, but time reveals the flaw to everyone.
Integrity will not:Back to top

  • will not allow for decisions which may compromise personal belief and faith
  • will not always APPEAR to help a situation
  • will not be an easy decision for all situations
  • will not be Disneyland-and-roses all the time
  • will not give in to peer pressure simply because "everyone is doing it"
  • will not give up on you; you can always re-establish integrity by making a conscious effort to re-build what past mistakes have broken down
  • will not in an obvious way come to the rescue of a person
Role of integrity in love

17) Integrity helps to define love although many things collectively define love, Integrity is a little different because it plays a unique role in love. Integrity acts as a binder of the many things that help to describe the meaning of love. Integrity helps to keep together all the things that make-up love so that love is constant and pure. For example, without a binder such as water, bread would be nothing more than baked powder with seasoning. Paper would be a collection of loose fibers.

Integrity can help to define you by acting as a binder which keeps your words, your thoughts and your actions honest, worthy and admirable to those around you.
Benefits of integrityBack to top

19) Integrity always, without exception, benefits a person. Unfortunately the benefits integrity may offer are NOT always immediately obvious. In fact, some times the benefits of Integrity are not obvious for many years down the road. It is possible for a person to live most of their lives and not see the benefits of integrity until later in life. It is different for everyone and does not mean it is better or worse for you. It simply means it is different for you.
Notice

20) As a side note:
  • Give your loved ones and yourself permission and plenty of room to make mistakes.

  • Know that in many cases, "things are not as they appear."
Experiences

21) Integrity is NOT a one-time experience or situation. Instead, Integrity is an on-going experience of a collection of situations where sound decisions are made based on good judgment, discernment, wisdom and knowledge.
By-products of integrityBack to top

22) Integrity has its by-products. As you become more familiar with a lifestyle which allows for integrity to bloom wild and free, life is usually filled with more and more peace--a natural by-product of integrity. After a while of on-going decisions guided by integrity, others begin to take notice. Employers begin to place more trust in you and your abilities. Friends rely more and more on your apparent wisdom. As a result, better decisions lead to a better life.
Misdirected hate

24) As a direct result of your decision to establish integrity within your life, you will gain favor with many people. Unfortunately some will hate you for it—which is another by-product. People hate other people for the strangest reasons. Someone dedicated to truth and honesty is a typical target for those who invite chaos and the misfortune of hate. There are many reasons for this misdirected hate, but the most common reason is their own insecurity (referring to the person who hates). Know that people WILL be threatened by you because of your decision to maintain integrity.
Other definitionsBack to top

25) People can tweak or modify their definition of integrity to suit their current needs, desires and ambitions. For that reason, it is possible to have a large number of definitions of the word or state of affairs in a person's life—but that does not necessarily mean they are all sound definitions.
Personal definition

27) This personal definition of integrity is an attempt to offer an unbiased presentation of what integrity can and cannot mean. That is to say this definition of integrity:
  • is in no way the one-and-only true definition
  • may actually serve to corrupt someone's definition of integrity--BUT this definition has a sincere intention to help explain the many sides of integrity's purity and benefits so that the reader can decide for themselves
  • should help to answer some of the many questions people may have about integrity and the possible role it may play in a person's life, decision making, thoughts, actions and destiny
  • should broaden one's insight about how much of a role integrity plays in their daily life, even minute-to-minute
A wonderful lifeBack to top


29) Choosing a wonderful life over (just) life can make the difference between success and failure, peace and chaos, love and hate, and integrity plays a key role in those decisions.

Choose to be like the young man laying the brick to build what he believes to be the greatest cathedral in all the world.

Choose to plant a seed that will become the immovable oak.

Choose to be like the janitor that maintains a clean household.

Choose to be a cup that can hold water and is half full instead of half empty.

 

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