Without integrity and honor, having everything means nothing.
Celebrating our American Independence day this week always causes me to ponder on my personal patriotism and love for my country. This in conjunction with a national public figure blatantly compromising their personal integrity has caused me great reflection. Consequently, I’m going to take the opportunity to discuss something that I’m extremely concerned about in our American society and which also affects the entire world.
I want to start off with the definition of integrity because I’m not sure that some know what it means anymore. Merriam-Webster defines integrity as the quality of being honest and fair; firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. What does it mean to be honest? Being honest is simple – it means telling the truth and making decisions that won’t compromise your values. I think we can take this one step further and seek out the truth and not let others just tell us what their truth is and believe them. Being fair is applying the “golden rule” which is doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. Taking this principle one step further would be to always treat others with love and respect whether or not we agree with them. And last but not least, adhering to an especially, not slightly, moral code means adhering to the Judeo-Christian biblical values that America was founded on. Let us do the right thing based on the information that we have acting with personal integrity.
I think that having integrity is also choosing your actions based on personal values rather than personal gain. The actions of many in our world are based on personal gain and they have created a “modern-day personal value” in saying or doing anything to get what they want whether or not it is illegal, immoral or detrimental to others. This is not a value, but rather a defect or deficiency. This is the overarching problem – there is an increasing deficiency in the value of having values.
So what can we do when our society is exponentially losing its’ integrity? We can be an example of doing the right and moral things for the right reasons. We can reach out and love those around us. We can seek out the truth. We can do what is in our power to hold those that are responsible to lead with integrity to the highest moral standards. We can listen to that still, small voice of moral conscience that I believe all of us are born with. We can pray. Lastly, we cannot give up hope, please do not give up hope.
America used to be a beacon of light, hope and leading the world with integrity. May it be so again is my hope and prayer.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Mark 8:36 KJV