Learning and talking about values is one thing. Staying true to them and placing them in action is another.
Integrity means holding true to your values; helping when others need help; walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Simply put, integrity means holding true to your values even when there is no one to see.
Do your friends call you when they need help? Are you someone that people trust? Are you loyal and honest above all? Do you refuse to break a promise because keeping it is the right thing to do? If you live life constantly judging your actions on the scale of right and wrong, then you are a person of integrity.
A ship that has structural integrity is strong because its structure is in tact. Anything that damages the integrity of the ship jeopardizes its ability to sail. Holding true to your values keeps your integrity strong and allows you to weather storms.
There is right and wrong and a person of integrity never compromises on their values. The decisions you make, even if no one is watching, define your integrity.
When talking about Integrity share the message that our choices matter. Losing your integrity isn’t always a catastrophic event such as a ship hitting an iceberg. Rather, the little choices we make to weaken our integrity such as little white lies, or small misdeeds, cause our integrity to be compromised like rust eating away at a ship. Over time, the damage causes a hole in our integrity.
At Good and Honest Productions, we find great value in the Three Rules of Thumb from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Cadet’s Honor Code.
Three rules of thumb
- Does this action attempt to deceive anyone or allow anyone to be deceived?
- Does this action gain or allow the gain of privilege or advantage to which I or someone else would not otherwise be entitled?
- Would I be dissatisfied by the outcome if I were on the receiving end of this action?
There are opportunities every day to demonstrate your integrity. If a clerk gives you too much change back at the store, take the opportunity to give the money back. Those watching will your actions will be inspired to do the right thing. Even if no one is around to see your actions, your integrity will remain strong and will not be compromised. And you may find that you feel inspired by your own actions.