What is true integrity?


What is true integrity? If you search for “integrity” on your search engine of choice, you might see a few different definitions. The ones I saw include words like honesty, uncompromising, and strong morals. And then I saw a secondary definition that really hit me hard. “The state of being whole and undivided.” The example sentence referred to territories and sovereignty. But I think it applies to us as people, too.

Hiding in plain sight

I follow a lot of people on LinkedIn that I don’t know in person. The ones I enjoy reading the most are the ones expressing outrage at injustices and demanding that we all do better. I admire them. I like their posts often and comment my support occasionally. But I usually stay quiet on my own page about these issues. Not because I don’t wholeheartedly agree, but because I don’t have any direct personal experience (recent, at least) with injustice. I have privilege.

Another core value

I’ve been guilty of not acting with integrity when I stay quiet. I haven’t been dishonest directly. I haven’t done anything directly unethical. But I haven’t been uncompromising with myself either.

The state of being whole and undivided for me means speaking out at injustice, even when I’m not directly affected by it. Being brave and using my privilege instead of hiding behind it. “History will have to record the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Feeling whole and undivided

Fear, self-doubt, and voices giving me negative feedback can occasionally cause me to hesitate. Those are the moments when I don’t feel whole and undivided. Instead, I feel like I have to hide. And when I hide, I’m not acting with integrity.

Where are you not whole and undivided?


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