Integrity means that you live up to ethical practices and a moral code. It means you are always honest.
The grand popularity contest that many are in, causes them to NOT live up to these principles. People want to be in a group, and loved by the group. Many times that means doing and saying things that aren't quite right. It means being silent when you disagree or see things that you know are wrong. A person without integrity says to themselves," they will never know", or "it really doesn't matter". they allow wrongs to go unaddressed, so as to not rock the boat. They jump on the bandwagon everytime it comes down the road, so people will like them.
There is a criminal side to that. Lack of integrity causes people to steal, cheat, and con others out of things that they want. It can be money, or a path that leads to money. They can rob a bank, or marry a rich man for his money.
Once upon a time, a few years ago, I looked around a room at a spiritual gathering. There was a teacher who was afraid to say "boo" to the students, even when they were disruptive or spouting incorrect information. There was a person who advertised services she was not licensed and accredited for. There was a person who had cheated on her husband with a married man...double whammy. There was a person who was ripping people off left and right, and even more. I thought, "What am I doing here?". I never went back.
I see people on Facebook being friendly and "chatting" each day with others that they talk about like they were the worst person on earth! I guess it is the rush to build a Facebook "friends" list. They say that "He who dies with the most toys wins" is not spiritually correct...so is "he who dies with the largest Facebook list is the most loved and respected". It does however give me a chuckle every morning. I know who to trust, that is for sure!
The sad part of the "New Age" or "spiritual" movement is that it frequently attracts people who are looking for love and attention, and all the "I love you's" and hugs, make them feel better about themselves. The problem is, that this is only a band aid, the love isn't real. Once that person walks out the door they are forgotten about until the next gathering, or when they are needed for something.
There are very few people of integrity out there. It is a hard thing to have. They are the people who are seen as strong and no nonsense, and that sometimes equates in people's minds to that they are "no fun". They are outspoken, do not allow wrongs to be perpetuated without speaking up, and they are honest. They don't sugarcoat things, or hug people that turn them off. They don't mince words, or play games just to be in the clique. They are people that you want to have your back.
People with integrity don't fake things, mislead others, or put on a show for adoration. They don't lie, cheat, steal, or con. They "harm none" every day of their lives. They may say something you don't want to hear, but you can bet it is the truth. The truth does sometimes hurt, but it doesn't harm. They are independent and think their own thoughts, not the thoughts of others.They aren't sheep. They don't enable.
Integrity is a hard thing to have, but it is the only way to be. You can read the Bible, Koran, Tso Te Ching, and what each and every word of all of it boils down to , is have integrity.
Do the right things for the right reasons, and foster integrity.
(C)2011 Dr. R M Reiter Wolf. May not be used, copied or reproduced without prior written permission.