Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

The word “integrity” stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.

Oh Wikipedia you are a wonderful site.

This word has been thrown around between friends and I recently. We discussed people in our lives who are full of integrity. What I had failed to do was actually confirm my OWN definition of the word. The definition above is perfect. The highlighted/underlined words ring true; Consistency, honesty, truthfulness, accuracy, hypocrisy, character. As mentioned in previous blogs, in my past I have drifted from being a person of integrity to a hypocrite. Saying one thing and doing the complete opposite. Inconsistent. I remember vividly all the times when I was consistent at keeping my integrity my life was good, very, very good. Everything went well and I was really happy. Then along came complacency. I found that when people become complacent they forget to take care of things. Some people would say they become too comfortable. For me though that word has connotations of positivity, warmth and love. Hence complacent.

Being complacent you seem to feel that everything is OK. Not great. Not awesome. Not perfect. Just OK. When you are comfortable I believe you are happy, content, you feel safe with your partner and who you are as a person. You have this innate feeling that nothing could be better than where you are right now. Well that’s what I believe. The danger of course with complacency is the lack of trying. You don’t bother trying to make things better or even to maintain your relationship, because in all honesty, you have given up. You don’t really care what happens. This is what I feel happened with A and I. I remember telling AB every time he asked how things were and I would say…OK. It had been OK for a very long time. I’m sure A felt the same way too.

So how does one become consistent at their actions, values, principles, expectations and outcomes? How can you make things such as values and principles tangible enough to be measured? If I say that I am an honest person then surely I must be truthful about everything in my life? As we all know, there are times in your life where telling the honest truth can get you a slap or punch in the face! Everyone has their own ‘moral compass’. Created usually from your up-bringing, parents, family and friends. Some people, and I’ve met plenty, don’t even have a compass. And could actually care less about values and principles. Growing up I had always used the Bibles values and principles to help guide me between right and wrong. I also had a ‘Disney’ up-bringing too. Evil wizards and witches, knights in shining armor and all that. I would like to think that I had/have a very solid moral compass. That, obviously, sometimes didn’t work very well!

You have to make a solid commitment to become a person of integrity. You can’t just drift in and out when you feel like it. You must be consistent in your actions. My public persona would sometimes, and I reiterate, sometimes belie my private persona. There is the inconsistency. What I have been trying to do in recent times is to join these two together and dump the negative actions. My ta moko (Maaori Tattoo) has helped immensely in this transitional phase of my life. I do believe that in doing so I will become a ‘whole’ new person. Not too far away from the person I already am either. Just a person with stronger integrity whom I would like to think will be a positive influence on my daughters, whanau and friends. Again long journey but made easier with everyone’s support.

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