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An integral part

“It is often the unseen acts which have the power to influence far beyond our understanding.”

In the continual quest for self-growth, there are often roadblocks hindering us during its pursuit. Perhaps many of those obstructions, and more than we’d care to admit, stem from our own lack of determination, resolve, and drive. Yet, when we do muster up the strength to use that time for personal development, we’re left with a feeling of accomplishment and rarely bemoan the moments we spend doing it.

There is, however, one key ingredient which ought to encompass every single aspect of our life as well as each moment of our journey, and that is none other than integrity.

We value integrity and admire those in whom we perceive it. The word is frequently expressed yet its abundant use rarely wears itself out; perhaps because we want it to reflect in everyone and especially in those whom we’ve placed our trust. Unfortunately – and mainly in today’s political climate – we’ve reached a point where integrity is not an offensive weapon but rather the opponents’ target at which we fiercely and frequently fire the flaming arrows of contempt.

That is not how integrity is supposed to work. It is not a measuring stick to illuminate others on how far short they’ve fallen; it is a candle which we nourish, fuel, and cultivate into a beacon for all to witness. Integrity is not an award we win but more of an integral part of our being. It’s vital we continually achieve but also important that others are aware of it. For what good is a candle if others cannot take note of its glow?

One of the healthiest steps we can take in maintaining integrity is regularly questioning and reviewing our own. Were there small corners cut or a blind eye turned because of some convenience or quick gain? One of the best ways of evaluating personal integrity is asking yourself if you’d perform the same action when no one is looking.

Over the millennia, humans have advanced in phenomenal ways. We live longer and with more conveniences. Our access to basics such as food, water, and sanitation have improved. However, the one trait which seems to have eluded advancement is personal integrity. While integrity appears to be lacking in so many areas in today’s world, the answer is not to sit back and point the finger at those who desperately lack it.

Let us now choose integrity for two reasons: it most certainly is the right thing to do and by doing so, we inspire others to grow and maintain theirs as well.

One of the enemies of personal integrity as I see it, is that some are weary of doing the right thing and being mocked or judged for not being opportunists. Others around them seem to have it easier and possibly even flourish because they choose to lower their bar for some gain. My fear is this kind of cynicism is polluting the desire for these shattered souls to continue in its upright path.

What if there was an individual who was currently struggling to maintain integrity and could only witness one other person maintain that effort? By seeing that endeavor, it may influence or inspire that person to once again reclaim the desire for personal integrity – which could in turn, influence far more than we could ever imagine? What if that one person providing that influence were you?

Integrity is often a task with seemingly no tangible reward, but what it does offer is a prize no amount of money could ever purchase. The good news, also, is that it’s never too late to add integrity to your journey.

My thanks to Lizel Snyman De Gouveia on Unsplash for the beautiful photo and I look forward to your comments.

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