Integrity

December 9, 2010
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Words are powerful factors; they have emotional attachments that can affect us and others in various aspects of life. They can cause affliction, gratification or encouragement to ones life. Integrity is a word that has a very personal meaning and plays a tremendous role in my life. It is one word that lets people know who we are as individuals. The word “integrity” is difficult to define. It has a distinctive meaning to everyone, but my personal definition of integrity would be to know your morals and know who you are despite what others are saying or thinking. There are two prevalent ways to find what the word integrity means, by the surrounding world or by its exact definition.
Webweevers.com states from Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition; integrity is a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility. Integrity does not have much of a history behind it but according to etymonline.com, the origin of the word integrity comes from the Latin word integritas meaning “soundness, wholeness.” Soundness and wholeness come from the possessing of integrity. When a person is at their peak of knowing who they are inside and out they have wholeness and soundness, they are incorruptible. The individual is not swayed in different directions; they do not lose sleep over making a decision. Whatever they know is right, people with integrity will do it. Morally and righteously they will live their life, no questions asked.
The source etymonline.com also states, “In the years 1473-1524 the name Bayard was a name used attributively to gentleman of courage and integrity. However the meaning deteriorated in later times till it came to denote blind recklessness and even actual blindness.” Integrity has no room for blind recklessness; it calls for someone to stand firm, persevere in trials, to move forward and to not pay attention to outside opinions. Other people in their own words would say integrity is the quality of being honest and morally upright. Webweevers.com states that integrity is a learned trait and is taught and understood all through an individual’s life. It is a facet that is built up through religious aspects or a person’s parent or guardian. There is a commonplace for integrity but mostly present in situations that could come up in schools, especially high schools; where students are at a place in their lives where they face all sorts of trials that can come out good or bad. Most students in high school have not found who they are and they are swayed by all sorts of opinions and ideas of what is cool and what is not. In this case having integrity is a must, your decision will either make or break you.
Integrity is an adjective; it describes a person of character and high morals. My dad, a pastor, is an example of a person with high integrity. My dad continually abides to what he believes is right and never compromises in any situation. Most people with integrity do not always go with the flow of what others do; they stand for what they believe in and most of the time stands out from the crowd. This level of integrity comes with a possibility of peers trying to break down your level of integrity for their lack of integrity. People will often push other people to dismiss their morals but the ones who stand firm in their convictions always prevail. Possessing integrity does not allow for compromise where it would go against ones’ beliefs either religiously or morally. Eruptingmind.com states integrity can be put in a simple equation: Action + Belief + Values= Integrity.
Most places that integrity is present are in leaders, such as the President or a Pastor. You cannot be a good leader and fail at following through with what you say. Eventually it will start to become fake, people will loose all trust because they have not seen the change that was said to happen. People in leadership roles or in everyday life can be double-minded, acting one way and then another. Those people are fake and not true to themselves or others. I believe integrity is present in any situation involving peers, teachers, friends, or even family. Integrity is needed in all the important areas of your life, meaning it is needed personally, religiously, and socially.
The web source eruptingmind.com says integrity is so important in your personal life and for others around you; you build trust, high self- esteem, respect for yourself, honesty, congruency (when your actions reflect what you say), and respect from others. All these are key factors in having integrity and walking in what is morally right for each individual person. By researching about integrity I have concluded that integrity is an essential characteristic to own. It builds your character and I consider it to enhance you as a person. In my opinion being able to feel like you do not have to be anybody but yourself diminishes the pondering of others to whether or not you are a person to trust. They can come to you for advice and what to do in a situation or conflict. This quality definitely has a lot of benefits; everybody you encounter will always know who you are and what you stand for.

Many times I have had encounters with people who say one thing and do another; it is actually more common than a variety of other things people face. Sometimes when meeting new people, they try to seem like they share common interests as you, they want to please you or come across a certain way. Once you get to know them better and see who they really are, that friendship eventually fades, it was never real all along. This will happen many times in a person’s lifetime because frankly that is life and how some things go. You have to learn from mistakes and take care of you, making sure that you maintain your integrity. Making sure that you are being real with other people and letting it be known through your actions and words that you mean what you say and who you are. Your integrity defines you.





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