Integrity 2

by Andrea Hartley

         Are we living in a time when people feel justified in eliminating integrity from their dealings with others?  We’ve all heard people who complain that their employer doesn’t pay them enough or that they feel mistreated by their employer in some way.  They may used this excuse to steal goods, services or time from their employer.  What about the husband/wife who says they just don’t love their spouse any more and so they have affairs.  Consider businesses who display misleading ads or  withhold truth from their customers or cheat them in some way. Are we always looking for the angle to justify our own lack of integrity?

        So just what IS integrity?  According to Webster’s unabridged dictionary copyright 1952, it is the state of being “unbroken, whole and intact.” It also means  “moral soundness, purity, upright, in-corrupt and honest.” So what does that make us when we don’t  practice integrity?  Broken, and missing moral soundness, purity, uprightness, and honesty.  It is a corruption of our character, the who we are, deep inside. Don’t we want the businesses that we frequent to give us their best goods and services?  Don’t we want honesty and fidelity from our mates?  If we were business owners, wouldn’t we want to be able to trust our employees?  Oh, I can hear someone saying, “Yes but, that’s not how the world is.  I have to watch my back and take care of me, because no one else will,”  All major religions of the world know that “you reap what you sow.”  Even UN-religious people know, “What goes around, comes around.”   Those who choose to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, by incorporating integrity in their dealings with others, reap a great harvest.  It begins with the knowledge that you are pure and whole in character.  Businesses who practice integrity gain a positive reputation.  There is no need to be constantly looking over your shoulder, no worry of getting caught defrauding your spouse or your employer and the consequences involved.  Moreover, people who are “whole” in their dealings with others are more attractive.  Years of shifty dealings with others can cause a hardness to the face and eyes which is usually not be considered to be very attractive.  If you are a parent, remember your children watch what you do more than listen to what you say.  Providing a positive example will go a long way in helping your child to develop an honest relationship with you and a better life for both of you.

         All who practice a life of integrity know a  deep satisfaction of soul.  Those who do what is right, simply because it is right and do it when no one is looking, experience a sense of wholeness within and most of all, a feeling of peace.