The world is awash in a sea of media barrages and opinions, masquerading as news but spun and speculated upon ad infinitum through a 24-hour cycle. Attention is directed to celebrities who are famous merely for being famous, politicians expounding upon the latest Tweets, social media creating viral sensations that live and die within the space of hours, and visual celebrations of celebrations, beamed from around the globe at digital racehorse speed. And yet, to the ordinary person plodding along on their daily routine of trying to provide sustenance and shelter for themselves and their families, their destiny seems largely random and beyond their control. But they are missing the most obvious factor and catalyst for the future over which they have complete and utter dominion – integrity.
Integrity is an element of overall character, and it stares back from the mirror over the sink every morning. The eyes tell it all. If they cannot stare back openly and honestly, without looking away, then integrity has gone away and will probably never return to take up residence. It comes from deep inside, and is fragile and easily bent or broken. It succumbs easily to temptation and the voices of others, and can be self-rationalized until no vestiges of the truth remain. As they say, “It is easier to go along if you want to get along.”
At some point in life, however, integrity plays a key role in determining the future. Whether in family or career relationships, integrity (or the lack thereof) will play a deterministic role in charting the future course of a life. At that time, there is no changing past actions or decisions. That is why integrity is one of the most important traits that must be protected above all else, day after day, even when it is difficult or inconvenient. The long-term value proposition of maintaining integrity is immense.
A very wise man opined “You should do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.” Think before speaking. Think before acting. Ignore the noise that surrounds you and threatens to drown the voice of conscience. Educate yourself. Be responsible. Be accountable. Integrity is completely with your control. What will you decide?