How Does One Maintain Integrity?
There is a difference between having integrity and being pompous. Integrity contains a degree of humbleness and the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes to validate rightness when it is present and deserved. It also rightly contains the ability to stand one’s ground in the face of wrongness and persuade by rightness to move wrongness toward more rightness. I know that’s a mouthful, but think about it and I think you will agree that it is true.
Let me give you an example of how this might work.
It was just the other day that a Facebook acquaintance of mine made the statement that golf is worthless and a complete waste of time. He said this in no uncertain terms and pounded home the fact that his statement was his experience of the truth and it was a matter of maintaining his integrity to stand by and promote that belief. He went even further to defend this position with obvious misconceptions when I, (having my own integrity to maintain) questioned him on his position. I pointed out that maybe he was being shortsighted in the value of and potential that golf had to offer. I told him that I had used people’s interest and love of the game of golf to raise over a hundred thousand dollars in my efforts to educate kids on the dangers of drugs. I also mentioned that in the process of creating and directing a golf tournament I was able to inform and involve hundreds of people in a very worthwhile activity of which they would not have otherwise involved themselves. This was simple truth. It was truth enough to show and give my counterpart an easy exit out through the door of shortsightedness into a position of having more integrity.
Instead, he chose to be pompous. He belittled my accomplishments and slammed the door in my face. That is not integrity. That is the inability to change one’s mind from obvious wrongness over into a position of more rightness.
Though disappointing as regards to a relationship, I do understand the mechanisms of this obsession to defend one’s wrongnesses even when confronted by truth. Because of this simple understanding, I have the ability and choice to dismiss his stubbornness and shortsightedness. I can walk away shaking my head knowingly. He has lost the very thing he had desired most— Integrity.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®