Operating in Truth
By Alisa Battaglia
Integrity is a virtue that relates to the quality of a person’s character–of integrating various parts of the personality into a harmonious, intact whole. Integrity is primarily a matter of keeping the self intact and uncorrupted. About embracing a point of view that does not just take the moral high ground, but pursues a commitment to do what is best. This means that we bring various levels of volition and desire into harmony and fully identify with them at the highest level. To do so we are urged to be conceptually clear, logically consistent, apprised of relevant empirical evidence, and careful about acknowledging as well as weighing relevant moral considerations. In other words to operate from our truth, which means that self-knowledge is crucial as we must know what we value.
What is it to be a person of integrity?
Whenever we state our truth in word, action, thought or otherwise, we empower ourselves by aligning with our personal code of conduct–what we decide is right or wrong for us. We make our own decisions and operate with integrity in terms of commitments to specific kinds of ends, principles and ideals. This care of self allows us to hold steadfastly true to our commitments, rather than ordering and endorsing desires.
When we live with integrity we have no reason to lie. We always win when we reduce confusion about how we feel. Life is uncomplicated and less stressful. It is much easier to live life when we are open and truthful because there is nothing to hide.
A plethora of human characteristics such as capriciousness, wantonness, triviality, disintegration, weakness of will, self deception, self-ignorance, mendacity, hypocrisy, arrogance, dogmatism, fanaticism, monomania, preciousness, sanctimoniousness, rigidity, indifference and so on drive us to moral failure. All these traits can defeat integrity in so far as they undermine and suppress attempts to critically assess and balance desires, commitments, wishes, changing goals and other factors. A person of integrity will find a mean between the excesses of each one of these vices, or traits or practices that undermines integrity.
There are also many defeaters of integrity who try to waiver us from operating in our truth. For instance so-called experts seek to further their own agendas by persuading and manipulating with half truths to get us to do what they want. The same idea applies to our family, spouse and friends. Oftentimes, inexperience succumbs to those who appear more knowing and powerful than us. This causes us to live out of alignment with our truth. Whenever we abandon what we know to be true and act from the strongest current desire of the moment, with no deliberation or discrimination between more or less worthwhile desires, we clearly act without integrity. Each time we go against our inner knowing we lose a little more of ourselves. Nothing pulls us further out of alignment and makes us more miserable than “selling out” and failing to stick to our integrity.
When we operate with personal integrity we refuse to agree with what is wrong, because we KNOW that something does not add up. We agree or disagree simply based on what we know to be true, not on what others want us to believe. We know the truth when we see it. Truth is our barometer, the measure stick of all things.