Not all that long ago, integrity was important to most people. The hallmark of a good leader was his or her integrity. Whether as head of a family, a leader in the community, a religious leader or the leader of a business, integrity was important. We judged and evaluated people according to their integrity. Their word was their bond.

Integrity as defined by The Merriam Webster Dictionary is “Adherence to a code of values”. “Incorruptibility, Soundness or Completeness”.

In my experience, this has changed significantly in recent years and is no longer considered an absolute. Integrity is seen as situational, flexible or even “old fashioned” by many. Even a candidate for the highest office in our country was quoted as having said that you need both a public and a private position on issues of policy. To me, this seems to be the antithesis of integrity.

When so many things that used to guide our behavior seem to be changing or disappearing altogether it can be very unsettling.

So why am I writing about integrity? I recently attended a retreat where one of the speakers had a different definition of integrity and it reinforced the need (my need) to not buy into the shifting of values and the definition of integrity. He defined integrity as “All – The – Way – Throughness”. Imagine inserting a rod all the way through you, your values, your spirit, your integrity. There would be no change. You would be the same on the inside as you are on the outside and therefore your integrity would be in tact, immovable and unshakeable.

I, for one, intend to keep my integrity in tact. Others can change their definition, blur the lines or discard their integrity all together but if they do, what are we left with? We will continue to live in a world where values, morals and acceptable behavior are a “moveable feast” and an ever-changing menu of options. If we choose this path, I fear for our society and our nation.

How’s your integrity?



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