When the going gets tough, those who you can trust do what is right. They integrate the best parts of themselves and get the dirty work done. Not because they seek fortune and fame. Nevertheless, because they must do what is required in the moment, without question, they never waiver. They just act.
Integrity implies moral uprightness, truth, honesty, honor and steals in one’s spine. Also strong mental fortitude is expected. Nevertheless, it also infers cohesion, solidarity, and unity. After all, what is a consensus but a tapestry of common threads? The rope is just a braid or collection of single strands of fibers that are stronger together than they are separate.
Truthfulness may not be enough to attain a state of integrity. You can still speak the truth, but if it is not kind and relevant or germane to the situation or conversation, the truth may be hurtful or injurious. However, when combined with sincerity and decency the truth will show integrity. Telling someone on their deathbed that you were the one who burned down their house, does more harm than good. It is more likely you are purging to satisfy your own sense of guilt. In addition, it would show integrity and honor not to speak the truth.
Another meaning of integrity is not to comprise the haul of a ship, spaceship, submarine, etc.… in essence not to let the exterior environment within. One could say that could apply to negative attitudes, speech, and behavior. Not to be affected by the externals, and to handle everything with the same equanimity come what may.
The same could be said of not letting the negative interior environment of negativity and doubt enter a situation or interaction. We show integrity when we can zip it and not volunteer anything that is not helpful, truth or relevant. The hero’s quest along the road of truth requires that we are ever vigilant with the external world or the world at large as well as what we can control, our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Integrity is a virtue for it denotes wholeness in a way it is keeping it together. Not letting ourselves come undone or miss the mark. If we can remember that we are only part of the equation yet remain mindful of all that surrounds us we can integrate all that we are, see, experience and learn for the greater good, we will all move forward together.