The Lost Art of Integrity

If one is not good for their word, what are they good for?
BY CAROLE SAWO  [19/4/23]

Integrity, the act of being scrupulous, not only in one’s behaviour, but also in one’s thinking, is a rare and precious quality that barely exists in human nature today.  More valuable than gold, the impossibly beautiful butterfly of integrity exists in relative obscurity. Integrity is not just about doing the right thing in the presence of others, but also in their absence.  It’s the quiet, behind-the-scenes choices that one makes that truly reflect their integrity.

While kindness is often portrayed as the ultimate human quality, integrity supersedes it by far.   The lack of integrity in human interactions is enough to make the angels weep.  People often portray their ideal image, saying what is wrong with the world while thoughtlessly repeating and speaking old, debunked programmes that contribute to it.  Patterns of words that were untrue the moment they were first uttered, hundreds of years ago.

To be good for one’s word is integrity in action.  It means saying what you will do and then, without deviation, even if it means removing impossible obstacles, doing it.  It means having your behaviours correspond exactly to your words and, more deeply, your true thoughts.  It means consciously self-examining every day, considering that you could be wrong, and not doing to others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you.  For example, being disregarded, excluded, talked about unjustly and unfairly, and used as a dumping ground for others’ own behavioural projections that they don’t want to even consider, let alone own.

Integrity is not a gifted quality; it is a hard-fought-for characteristic that is often chosen bravely in opposition to smirking, ganging others.  It is the act of being intact and whole.  Where one’s soul, their mind, resonates with the perfect pitch of unified sound.  It’s a long battle won, and a daily pursuit of refinement.  Beyond the skilful yet fake appearances of support, kindness, charity, and care, lies the true grit and testament to a soul.  

In my experience, many years ago, I became aware that beside everyone walks an angel with a clipboard.  The angel never speaks, but it writes down every word that we say and every seen and unseen behaviour.  It never judges, but it records.  In our last moments within this mortal physical coil, when our souls are weighed on those etheric scales, all our words are handed back to us, along with all of our thoughts.

Integrity is not just a quality, but a way of being.  It’s the act of being moral and honest, and of doing what you say you will do.  It’s a quality that requires a constant effort and a daily pursuit of refinement, but it’s a quality that is invaluable and rare in today’s world.  In a realm that mirrors the divided mind of man, the lost art, and ark, of integrity, resides in the quietude of reflective existence.