We call it Integrity…
Integrity, as defined by the dictionary, is “the quality of being honest or having strong moral principles.” People with integrity are generally known to be trustworthy, honest, and kind. This is a quality that everyone should strive for.
Additionally, everyone should also strive to surround themselves with people who have true integrity. How can you tell that someone has what is considered true integrity? It isn’t something that can be faked, but there are some ways to tell that someone has real integrity. Here are the main behaviors that reveal if someone has the kind of integrity you want in a friend or coworker.
As Freemasons we talk about this trait and how we should look for it in other men, especially our Brother Masons. The following list is from an article I came across and paraphrased to meet the needs of this topic. Like Civility and other traits we as Masons are supposed to have I would put Integrity at the top of the list and for Master Masons you should know why.
1. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS
Integrity is all about having a high level of honesty. When someone takes responsibility for their actions, you know that they are an honest person. It’s not always easy to take responsibility for things that happen, but it is the right thing to do. People with integrity choose to do the right thing, even when it’s hard.
2. PUTTING OTHERS’ NEEDS ABOVE THEIR OWN
In a world that is so focused on individualism, it can be rare to find someone who focuses on what’s good for the collective community. People who put the needs of others above their own needs or desires show true integrity. Of course, they don’t do this simply to get praise and recognition. Someone with true integrity is only interested in doing the right thing.
3. OFFERING TO HELP OTHERS IN NEED
Seth Meyers, Psy.D, says that volunteer work is a great place to find people who have integrity. This is because people with true integrity have no qualms offering their time to help people in need. They want to help those who are less fortunate than themselves. What is more, they do so happily. Whether it’s working with others to build a house in a developing country, or helping out at the local food bank, someone with true integrity will be found helping those in need.
4. GIVING OTHERS THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
Seth Meyers also says that someone with integrity doesn’t jump to conclusions. They always give others the chance to explain themselves, and move forward considering those other points of view. Someone with integrity knows that things aren’t always as they seem and that each person has a unique point of view that deserves to be heard. As such, they choose to give the benefit of the doubt instead of doubting.
5. CHOOSING HONESTY IN ALL THINGS
Little white lies can be tempting, but someone with true integrity doesn’t give in to this particular impulse. Integrity means being honest, and someone with true integrity will live this quality every day. You can always trust these kinds of people to give you their honest opinion, and it will be a point of view that you can value.
6. SHOWING RESPECT TO EVERYONE
Respect is often considered something that must be earned, but someone with integrity gives respect to everyone they meet. Someone with true integrity knows that everyone deserves respect and deserves to be treated like a human being. People with true integrity will never be caught being rude to waiters or customer service workers.
7. MANIFESTING HUMILITY
A person with integrity will be proud of their accomplishments, but they will at the same time be humble. In other words, they know the difference between confidence and arrogance. A person with true integrity will know their strengths as well as their shortcomings. They recognize their strong points, yet they’re always striving to better themselves in some way.
8. BEING ABLE TO ADMIT THEY’RE WRONG
Who likes to admit they have been wrong? It isn’t fun, and it can be a humbling experience. But a person with true integrity has no problem admitting when they’re wrong, or when they made a mistake. You will find they are always the first to stop, admit their mistakes, and apologize if need be.
9. SHOWING REGULAR RELIABILITY
A person with true integrity will always show up to an obligation. When they say you can count on them for something, you know they will keep their word. Integrity is all about being the best person you can be, and reliability is part of that. People with true integrity will never flake on you if they can help it. You can confidently rely on them.
10. CONVEYING TRUE KINDNESS
Above all, people with integrity are kind. They’re not the type of person to say something they don’t mean. They won’t say something nice to your face and something cruel to your back. A person with true integrity knows that there is strength in being unrelentingly kind.
“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it. Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” ―
The above quote captures the spirit of what integrity is and it’s actionable behavior. I also have another specific quote which is appropriate for these times;
“To speak evil of anyone, unless there is unequivocal proofs of their deserving it, is an injury for which there is no adequate reparation.” – Bro. George Washington
Integrity is a virtue that everyone should strive for. These traits and behaviors will help anyone move towards becoming a person with true integrity. Of course, people with true integrity do these things because it’s the right thing – not to be praised for their integrity! That is part of the beauty of someone who lives a life of integrity.