My grandparents believed you were either honest or you weren‘t. There was no in between.
They had a simple motto hanging on their living-room wall: "Life is like a field of newly fallen snow; where I choose to walk every step will show. "They didn‘t have to talk about it--they demonstratedthe motto by the way they lived.
They understood instinctively that integrity means having a personal standard of morality and ethics that does not sell out to expediency and that is not relative to the situation at hand. Integrity is an inner standard for judging your behavior.Unfortunately, integrity is in short supply today--and getting scarcer. But it is the real bottom line in every area of society.And it is something we must demand of ourselves.
A good test for this value is to look at what I call the Integrity Trial, which consists of three key principles:Stand firmly for your convictions in the face of personal pressure.When you know you‘re right, you can‘t back down.
Always give others credit that is rightfully theirs. Don‘t be afraid of those who might have a better idea or who might even be smarter than you are.
Be honest and open about who you really are. People who lack genuine core values rely on external factors--their looks or status---in order to feel good about themselves. Inevitably they will do everything they can to preserve this facade,but they will do very little to develop their inner value and personal growth.
So be yourself. Don‘t engage in a personal cover-up of areas that are unpleasing in your life. When it‘s tough, do it tough. In other words, face reality and be adult in your responses to life‘s challenges.
Self-respect and a clear conscience are powerful components of integrity and are the basis for enriching your relationships with others.
Integrity means you do what you do because it‘s right and not just fashionable or politically correct. A life of principle, of not succumbing to the seductive sirens of an easy morality,will always win the day. My grandparents taught me that.