A Heart with Integrity Always Does the Right Thing

January 11, 2017

A heart with integrity will always do the right thing when no one is looking. It doesn’t need an audience nor praise for its good deeds. In the heart, integrity is most important. A necessity in order to live in harmony with what our own conscience dictates.

Some say that integrity is a trait in risk of extinction, that it is no longer seen very often in modern societies. That the rectitude of one’s character and an unblemished, noble soul doesn’t abound in our work places. Far from worrying about the ideals of others or looking for screens to reflect ourselves in in order to find inspiration, the most important thing is to be whole with ourselves. 

In life, you are going to find geniuses with no studies and ignorants with doctorates. Don’t worry about one thing or the other, simply focus on the integrity of the person. Focus on their connection with your heart.

Confucius, the renowned Chinese thinker, defined a person with integrity as a “superior being”. He said they have great spiritual strength. They put their ideas into practice, and later on, preach to others about what they have truly done.

With this image we can see that more than an “attachment” to a sense of universal justice, there is a necessary connection with oneself, with the bravery of being consistent with what we feel and later carry out. We invite you to reflect upon this.

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Behaving with integrity, an obligation but also a personal right

It is enlightening to see that in Latin “integer” means “whole” and from this derives the concept of an entity that hasn’t been harmed or broken, that hasn’t lost its wholeness at any moment. Aristotle, for example, also defines “whole behavior” as a quality, as an inner breath that is directly linked to our will to do the right thing, without anyone having to be watching.

So far, we have been able to prove that in all of these definitions there is a clear personal component. Now, we are sure that you have experienced at some point the clear sensation of your integrity being violated, to the point of doing and saying certain things that you did not mean or feel. We can understand through some examples:

  • Our education or the bond that we establish with our family can make us feel on more than one occasion that our rights are being attacked, by forcing us to do things we don’t feel like doing. Things we don’t believe in.
  • The same thing happens within romantic relationships. Factors like manipulation or emotional blackmail are fences with thorns which we tend to run into, thus losing part of our integrity or wholeness. Until we finally react in the end.
  • The dynamics that are at times established in the workplace are a clear example of that violation of the integrity of the very workers. Performing tasks that they don’t wish to do or which are forbidden, feeling exploited but not being able to react out of fear of losing your job…these are without a doubt, very common.
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We all have the obligation and also the right to be whole and have integrity. Because our very self-esteem is, in the end, that agreement between acts and feelings, between desires and actions. If third parties break this subtle balance, we can get hurt. Thus, we should never forget this: A heart with integrity requires a great dose of bravery.

Learning to live with integrity

We are often reminded of the fact that in life you should always speak with honesty, think with sincerity and act with integrity. Who establishes what it means to have integrity and what doesn’t? The answer is simple, our own conscience.

Live in such a way that when your kids think of honesty and integrity, they’ll think of you.

The conscience is not a mere reflection of a legal body in a determined society. Nobody internalizes the list of human rights written by the UN. In fact, we all have internal compasses which tells us what is right and what is wrong. And this is based on a finely tuned combination of different factors. Among these are our education, experience, our personality, intuition and our own system of values. Those which we should always listen to.

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We already know that a heart with integrity is associated with self-esteem. Now, let’s keep in mind this set of dimensions with which we can defend this exceptional quality:

  • Behave every day in such a way that when you lie down at the end of the day, you won’t have to regret anything that you said, did or didn’t do. Be consistent in every step you take and in every act you perform.
  • If there around you certain personalities stand out, which are lacking in ethics and spiritual integrity. This shouldn’t discourage you, nor should it incite you to imitate them. Be the light in the quagmire of barren hearts. Be your own example, your voice at ease.
  • Defend your integrity as if it were your very life. Establish limits, put up walls to those who induce you to do or say something in which you don’t believe. Don’t ever stop recognizing yourself every time you look in the mirror.

Be the best example for your children, because integrity can’t be learnt from books. Integrity is observed, it is felt… and above all, it is defended.