Integrity is a stance, it is something that is personal and when I think of integrity I think of talking and addressing only the truth. You see, no matter what you do for a living, your personal views, or even how much money you have doesn't make you a person of integrity.
See, use my life as an example once again, I had achieved everything I ever wanted. I had the houses, the career, the boyfriend, the car, and of course the pets and I lost it all when I got sick. But, do you know what I have after the loss all of those things, I have my integrity, I have my word, and I honor what I say. The only way that you can loose your integrity is if you lie, cheat or steal. Being someone of integrity is someone that you can trust, someone that you can look up to, in other words, a roll model.
Life is too short for us to lie about anything, because one lie leads to a million more being born to cover that one. Speaking as someone with multiple terminal illnesses, and diagnosis's I realize that if nothing else I have my word. I would rather have someone hurt because I told them the truth, then to lie to them and have them find out about it later. Because someone who is your friend is going to understand. A true friend also means that you are willing to point out the truth to them to save them from the pain, or disappointment that they may feel if you lie to them. Plus, if you lie to them, how are they going to be able to trust you.
It is my opinion that a lasting friendship/relationship is based totally on trust. You can survive anything if you keep your friends best interest at heart and you have their back in all situations. In order to do this you must be brutally honest at time, but trust me they will get over it. Remember, there is such a thing as tough love and sometimes you just have to say NO and mean it. Otherwise you end up enabling them and letting them suffer in their bad decision.
Integrity means that you are stalwart, united of person, unchangeable and the uprightness of character. Honesty plays an integral role in integrity, but so does all the other things I mentioned above. You don't tolerate liars, you don't accept cheaters or thieves. You are immovable what they call a pillar of society and above reproach. You are a role model to others and you live your life the way that you preach. I am not saying you have to go to church, or anything like that. You have a good character and a great sense of right and wrong. I only hope that you are a person of Integrity, someone that your friends can trust. You are the type of person who can divorce themselves from there personal feelings and look objectively on every situation. You can offer advice to your friends unbiased and not showing favor toward them or yourself. Keep in mind that everything you do and say is based on the principle of the truth, and that someone out there is watching you and following in your footsteps.
I aspire to the day when I my words and deeds, and all actions continually demonstrate total integrity. I know that the people that know me know that I have long since left the lying and cheating behind. I learned my lesson when I was doing drugs, that people lie and cheat and are just trying to get to the next fix. I have been accused falsely of stealing drugs from time to time and I stress that it is because I have integrity I wouldn't lie about that. What I don't understand is why I would be accused of doing this in the first place when I was getting drugs for free from the person in question so why would I take something. It made no sense at the time and looking back it still doesn't.
I also realized that the ones accusing me of the theft, were the same people that lacked integrity in their lives, they had borrowed money on the premise that they were going to pay it back but after all was said and done, found out that they had bragged about how they had taken me and never intended to pay me back at all. Yes, I have made a series of bad choices in the past, and should have known better then lending out sums of money that large, but alas, I gave the benefit of the doubt, and I have a tendency to always believe the best about a person. I had to learn the hard way over and over again.
Yet, through all of the things I have been through, I can tell you I would rather tell the truth and face the consequences than to have to live with the lie and all the work that goes into protecting that lie and keeping it going. I don't actually care how it hurts someone, because if they really are my friend they are going to eventually understand that I told them the truth in order to protect them and not intentionally hurt them.
Anyhow, I hope this sheds some light on what I mean when I talk about integrity and what it means to me.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,