The Virtue of Integrity

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“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”.  ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

One of the most important values, if not THE most important value or virtue that you want is integrity.  We have all fallen victim to ourselves at times when we are faced with the choice of being honest or dishonest when we have fallen to the side of dishonesty.  It becomes too difficult to admit to a mistake that we have made, or in thinking that we might gain credibility we will tell the proverbial “white lie” which has a few half-truths.  But the fact of the matter is, eventually at some point or the other, the truth will always surface, and once it does we lose whatever ground we may have made up till this point.

When you are honest about your mistakes, believe it or not, by admitting them you are more respected and trusted than you are when you try to hide them.  It is the same as if you were in the court of law, once you have been found to have lied about one point under oath, your entire testimony is then thrown out or placed in doubt, even if you were telling the truth.

At your workplace, integrity is what will help you to progress if there is room for advancement or promotion, and if not it will be what will help you to keep your job.  Too many people think that by trying to “look good” even by deception that this will help them to stay employed, whereas employers are looking for and are in need of honest individuals who they can count on and trust to carry on the business.

On many an occasion I have been tempted to tell those I have worked with that I had completed a task when in reality I had still not done so.  It was just so hard on my pride to admit that I had failed to comply with something and so for fear of others thinking negatively about me I would want to hide the fact.  I have since found out that, even when I fail, when I am able to “man up” to my mistakes, that the end result is not less but greater trust towards me.  It is much more valuable to have someone who admits to being human and who will admit a mistake, rather than one you know will try to cover their tracks.  Those who do try to smudge the truth will make you feel that if they are able to lie about one simple thing, then what they are really telling the truth about!

The thing about telling lies and dishonesty is, once you have told one, then you have to tell others to support your original lie. Then you end up getting all tangled up in your story that eventually you get yourself in a real mess.  There is an interesting little saying that I had learned years ago and it goes like this:  “What a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive”  And that is just what it is like, a sticky, icky spiders web that, unlike the spider who is able to walk around on it, you then eventually get stuck in your own web of deceit.  So, honesty is the best policy, if you want to be truly successful!

Have you been tempted with dishonesty? Did it really pay or did YOU end up paying the consequences?

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Showing 6 comments
  • lisa
    Reply

    I would rather get it over with; admit it and move on! Hopefully learn from it too.

    • Rusty
      Reply

      Sounds like a good plan!

  • Louise Hernan
    Reply

    I also believe that integrity is THE most important virtue we can have. If we have integrity, we will not only be honest but when nobody is looking, we will still do what we know is the right thing. So glad to posted this Rusty – very well said!! :)

    • Rusty
      Reply

      Hi Louise! It most certainly is! In fact, it will not only get you a job, a spouse, but it will help you to keep them as well! I hope you like the new design, I will be working on it for bit to get the kinks ironed out! THank you for sharing your thoughts with me, you are always welcome and appreciated!

  • Anne Lyken-Garner
    Reply

    You’re right. I do find that people trust and relate to you more when you’re quick to admit your flaws. We all have them, so no one likes anyone who pretends to be perfect. They can all tell that the person is fake on the outside.

    • Rusty
      Reply

      So true Anne, it is difficult to be around anyone who is deceived into thinking that they are always right and never make mistakes. It rally isn’t human to think this way and it is much easier to hang around real humans! I know that the people that I work for have great confidence in me because they can trust me, so that is a great feeling. Have a wonderful day!

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