Integrity is defined as the simple choice between what’s convenient and what’s right. There is no such thing as a minor lapse in integrity. The entire point of integrity is this – you follow your core values fanatically and to the end, no matter what. If you have minor lapses – then you don’t have integrity. Integrity allows none.
Without Integrity, none of the other virtues have power.
What is a good moral code, then you’d say… What values are worthy of defending fanatically?
How about these?
Truth. Freedom. Love.
Think of it for a moment… What would your life be, if you always told the truth? If this attracted around you trustworthy people, who also always told the truth and never lied? People you knew you could trust, always? People who would keep their word, and wouldn’t bull you if they failed, but warned you? What if your business model was built on being useful to others truly, instead of pure trickery and marketing without any substance behind it? What if your product was its marketing?
What would happen, if you spoke for those, who can’t speak for themselves? Stood up for the rights of those, who have none? What would happen, if more people like you were attracted by you and stood up for your rights when they are at danger of being taken away? What if people stood for your freedom, as well as you – for theirs?
What would happen, if you begun to resist temptation and didn’t cheat on, or ever told anything that would hurt the dignity of your loved ones? What if you built your relationships on mutual love and respect for each other? Wouldn’t that be awesome? If you didn’t gossip and badmouth people? If you had the power to forgive when others erupted, boiling red hot with anger?
If you acted like this even if the people around you didn’t?
Wouldn’t you, then consider yourself a man of value and virtue? Wouldn’t your self-worth grow, your self-esteem increase and your inner feeling about yourself dramatically improve? Wouldn’t you respect yourself more? A lot more?
If you were standing in the presence of such a man, would you think of him as a weak fool, or would you feel a mix of deep admiration and fear of him? Would you think this is someone you can easily fool and defeat, or would you watch your step and mind yourself? Would you dare simply break a word you’ve given him? Would you give him your word lightly? Would you lie to him? Try it, even a little?
You are this man. Deep inside. Be it!
You know and have always known what’s right. We have a built-in inner feeling – a compass of sorts, which always points us in the right direction.
Dare to listen to it and to follow. Never compromise on fundamentals.
All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.