Common terms that are casually referenced when discussing ethics are integrity and honesty. These words, at times, have been used to defend actions that are morally questionable. Many debate the rightness and wrongness of a situation, a question of morals. Today, we focus our attention on integrity, while accepting that ethics is a process of making the right decision and honesty is the expression of truth.
Action of Integrity
Someone believes and defends a position on a social issue of the day (pick an example of one for consideration during our time together). The strong conviction they are “right” fuels actions taken to support and defend their belief of rightness on the issue. This person is acting with integrity. There is an incorruptable alignment and consistency with what is believed and the actions taken [a state of being undivided].
Object of Integrity
Integrity is also defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as a firm adherence to a code of values or morals. While there is not disagreement with the above definition, the discussion gets blurry and muddied if we do not break things down to its core elements. Determining that an action is right or wrong can be addressed as a moral question or a question of truth or fact.
Simplicity of Integrity
So, in the spirit of keeping things simple and understandable, I suggest that integrity means: What You See Is What You Get [WYSIWYG]. Whether or not a person is acting consistent with their beliefs determines their degree of integrity. What on the outside agrees with what is on the inside. I am reminded of the term “structural integrity,” meaning that if a steel I-beam looks and is expected to hold up a portion of a bridge, then it does – if this beam has structural integrity within the given tolerances.
We will continue exploring ethics and its associated traits and various perspectives.
How can you live out integrity on a daily basis? at the office? at home? Are what you are saying and doing consistent with your beliefs, or do you find ways to work around an incongruency in order to serve a greater good?