Integrity

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Last night I was thinking about integrity (when I was supposed to be sleeping...stupid brain). I think "integrity" means various things to various people. It's usually associated with honesty, and I suppose that's certainly an aspect of integrity, but I think it's incomplete.

To me, a cornerstone aspect of real integrity is a lack of bifurcation between your public and private self. Attempting to excuse bad behavior in either arena by pointing out that you're not a douchebag in the other aspect of your life doesn't really wash. If you're a douchebag, then really...you're just a douchebag.


The reason I know this, of course, is because I've tried to use that selfsame excuse myownself. There were times in my life when I made choices that would place me firmly in the "douchebag" category, and I always tried to bolster my own ego by pointing out to myself that really, the fact that I made the crappy choice was mitigated by the fact that I was a great NCO, or whatever. Um, yeah. Not so much, Princess. Finding the will to do the hard work necessary to drag yourself from the realm of the douchebags is a huge pain in the ass, but the reward is a fully integrated personality.

One of the benefits of getting older, at least for me, is that I have finally achieved that integration, and I consider my personal and professional selves a coherent whole. I am who I am - my behavior and reactions are utterly predictable (if you take the time to get to know me), and they don't change much between personal and professional scenarios. I'm pretty happy with that outcome, and I also get to enjoy the added bonus of a less stressful existence.

Why, yes, I am a slow learner...why do you ask?

4 comments:

Anne C. said...

Another of the many reasons I love you, Janiece.

Mrs. Bitch said...

I agree. I've always defined my interpretation of integrity to mean adherence to a set of personal morals. So, even with people I disagree with on issues, I can admire their personal integrity for standing firm in their beliefs.

Integrity is exactly what seems to be lacking so much in politics these days.

Juan Federico said...

Learned it as a young'un:


INTEGRITY
Definition: Integrity means that you are honest and truthful in what you say or do. You put honesty, sense of duty, and sound moral principles above all else. Doing what is right even if no one else sees it.
Suggestions for Improvement: Be absolutely honest and truthful at all times. Stand up for what you believe to be right.

Does that sound like anyone that we know????

Janiece said...

Well, yeah, John - NOW.

I received a note from one of my lurkers who said, "The etymology of integrity. It has the same root as 'integer', whole or complete, and by extension, whole-ness. Just as in a work project, you can evaluate the integrity of your 'solution'. That would apply well for us as individuals, wouldn't it?"

I had a, "Just so" moment after reading that. It just took me longer to apply that particular piece of etymology to my life than it should have...