What another word can we describe for “integrity”? Clean? Blameless? Good? You may put as many words for integrity, but one thing is very clear about the word “integrity,” it’s doing the right thing. If we commit a mistake by failing to do our tasks; offending and bullying others; shouting out loud to your subordinates; uttered foul remarks; uncontrollable anger; finding fault; look down to others and quick to judge mentality. Does it sound integrity?
A man may not be perfect but should be in moral uprightness. Being conscious enough to know what is right and wrong; what is ethical and non-ethical; what is truth and lies; what is professional and not professional.
Let us see how the following were connected with integrity: Word of Honor, Self-respect, Acceptance of Failure, Fault Finder, Trust, Heart of a Leader, Honesty, Love
Word of Honor
The common traits that we overlooked is the Word of Honor. We have been used to utter a promise to our friends and colleague yet fail to fulfill our promised words. Our words sometimes vary on how small or big is our promise. Small promises may become a small thing that seems to be melted like wax until it is forgotten and not seriously taken into consideration. Have you tried people telling you a promise that he will do this and lend you something? Then when the time comes that you two met each other on that day, the one who promised you seemed to forget mentioning about his promise. How do we feel if we are on that situation? No promises are too big nor too small. A promise is a promise. All is started with a small one before it became bigger.
I love to quote this wonderful Scripture from the Bible at James 3:5-6,
“Even so the tongue is a small part of the body, but it takes credit for great things. How much wood may be lighted by a very little fire! And the tongue is a fire; it is the power of evil placed in our bodies, making all the body unclean, putting the wheel of life on fire, and getting its fire from hell.” BBE
Let’s see what we can learn from this verses; it says the tongue is a small part of the body and it can create big things. Therefore, all are started with a small. It is like a small spark that could burn the whole cities. That is so powerful and quite unimaginable.
Integrity doesn’t have to be measured; it is always in the neutral position. There is no small, medium or big integrity. We will know more about integrity in the next succeeding paragraphs.
In Collins dictionary, Self–respect is a feeling of confidence and pride in your own ability and worth. That could mean it is you, not by imitating other’s character to be respected. People tend to make their own definition of self-respect by compromising themselves because they’re afraid to be in the hot seat. They are afraid to face the consequences.
Respect is hardly earned, and it cannot be faked. There is power on self-respect if you know how to be respected. You’ll be respected if you know how to respect others. Belittle and looking down at people is not self-respect. Learning to respect people below your status is the true self-respect. One example that I can give is this question: Who’s the best person that can tell if an affluent person has self– respect? Your parents, brothers, sisters, friends? No, it is not. It is the person who has the low status like your driver, house helper, maid, janitor or housekeeper. They look at you, know who you are, how you treated them and how you respect them even though they belong to a poor status. If they saw you that they are well treated, they would also treat you the same way as you did. That is respect.
Acceptance of Failure
I’ve encountered a lot of people who think that they are always right. They believe too much on themselves and have the courage on teaching you the ways that they think is right. What they don’t know is they have an enemy—the enemy is self.
A person who doesn’t want to accept his fault is pride. He believes everything that he does is of worth and never falter. He is blinded of knowing his own self while hardly seeing who’s in the mirror. Accepting their fault or failure for them is a shame instead of accepting it as a career growth with increasing the true knowledge.
Prov. 11:2 ‘When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
Honestly, there are people who enjoyed finding fault of others. They want to destroy others reputation to elevate him as the right one. Inside an office, this practice is so rampant. They destroy each other by gossiping, accusations and pointing finger. A fault finder is also known as the Betrayer. He is good at pointing you if there are mistakes that he can blame you. That is the best opportunity for him—to find a fault for you. This is not limited to people who are in a low position. In an office setting, those who are in the high position are the one who takes advantage of blaming his subordinates when a failure was transpired in his department. He always used to utter the word “you” instead of “we.”
What is trust to you? Is it an assurance that people will believe you everything you tell him? How do people earn trust? Being a true person or a person that is true to himself—is trust. He does not compromise nor gamble anything that may lose the trust of people to him. It is such a great blessing if a lot of people trusted you because trust is hard to be earned. You can’t beg other to trust you. Never! Trust is long term and not a short-term relationship building. People will trust you on how you as a person also shows trust to others. Do you know a person who trusted you so much? If there is, treasure it because trust can never be purchased with money.
Heart of a Leader
I know you are wondering how leadership connected with integrity. We may always assume that leadership is a separate topic that should not be connected with integrity. But the truth is, a leader cannot be a leader if his integrity failed. Nobody will follow a leader that shows partiality, unfairness, fault finder, selfish, and lack of self-control. All comes from the heart of a leader. If his heart is a heart of stone and deceit, his so-called leadership stinks but if his heart is a heart of transparency, love, understanding, fair, protecting his people, unselfishness and ready to serve his team—that is a true leader with integrity.
There is a famous old song by Billy Joel; it says “Honesty is such a lonely word, everyone is so untrue. Honesty is hardly ever heard, and mostly what I need from you. It is a lonely word because a lot of people is so untrue and it is hardly ever heard.” That means there are few people who are truly honest. So sad to hear that song that exposes the reality of man. For a person to become honest is to become honest first to himself. You should know where you stand and do the right thing. Never compromise things for the sake of showing that you are right when the truth is you’re wrong. This is how hard a person to become honest. If you don’t want to accept your fault, then you’re not honest to yourself, and you’re just fooling yourself.
We are too familiar with the word “love,” but we still can’t figure out how love is connected with integrity. There are a lot of sayings about love, and most of them relate to lovers or couple. We rarely discuss loving others. This is absolutely true. If you don’t believe me then you may want the test question such as this: Could you tell all people that you loved them? I’m sure that you unable to say that because the truth is you don’t love them, and that is the real truth. In the first place, you don’t know them, and you didn’t have any relationship with them. But if someone may truly love us unconditionally, that is a very special person that loves. In my mind, I know one who confessed that He truly gave love to us—it is God.
Therefore, if we possess the love that was bestowed by God, people will also show that they also love you. So we see how difficult it is to love others if there’s no one who set us an example to love us.
Therefore, integrity is your soul—it describes who you are personally.