The definition of integrity is vague and rather open ended. Morals are the premise for all perceptions of integrity and should be further explored to better understand the cloudiness behind integrity. Morals are the standing personal ideas of what basic fibers construct all decisions, right or wrong. But morals are personal, and ever changing, never exactly the same person to person. For example, the Ten Commandments, implemented on primitive people for thousands of years attempted to instill basic morality into barbaric people who, with the fear of a higher power, abided.
The late George Carlin summarized these ten into a basic 4. Don’t lie, cheat, steal, or kill. Now, in a civilized world, in a country that defines social civility, these 4 seem easy and almost givens. But, in third world countries where life is not easy, and everyday is eat or be eaten, morals are far less important. Millions, everyday, commit all four acts without hesitation. Morals are expendable when survival lies in the balance. Survival, of what? Survival of life, survival of an idea, survival of a relationship?
Millions have killed millions because they thought their agenda was more prevalent, or their god justified it, or because they needed to in order to fulfill the instinctual desire to live at all costs. In no way am I saying that ethics should be readily broken for personal gain, but the principles that so many try to live by aren’t as universally important as they seem. I truly believe that if you are not living for other people, you are not truely living. Relationships mean everything. Its not just the way you treat family, or your friends, its everyone.
I treat people how I would want to be treated and give respect where respect is due. My morals are much more diverse then just don’t lie, steal, cheat, or kill . My morals are reflective of today’s day and age, not as dated and black n’ white as those four. My morals are competitive, like our present society. I never intend to hurt anyone, and my actions are far from malicious, but if the survival of something I hold close lies in the balance, I am willing to bend my moral code in order to ensure the continued existence of what I view jeopardized.
I stand by what I believe; those are my morals. Live for others, but never forget who is left at the end of the day. I’ve always viewed integrity as personal. Its how you a carry yourself. Its how you act when no one is watching. But, this is all personal. I don’t let other people dictate my integrity, I let my actions speak, and I ask myself at the end of the day, if I acted like the man I want to be. Many days, when I reflect on myself, I realize I haven’t been. And this is life, improving day to day so you never repeat mistakes.