The Battle To Maintain Our Integrity

You’ve probably felt the battle raging within you. To hold onto your beliefs. To boldly proclaim and do what you feel is right.

The world is crying out around you to do that what they believe to be true. All the while trying to pull you to their side and strip away your integrity.

There’s a battle happening. The battle to maintain our integrity while living in a world that beckons us with the desires of others.

Months ago I wrote a blog post with quotes from Nelson Mandela. I also shared leadership quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

While these posts received quite a bit of positive attention, there were also questions regarding the posts. Partially relating to maintaining your integrity while being told to tweet something one of these great men had said.

Instead of tweeting out quotes from Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr, it was suggested to take the quote, make it your own, and take action. Eventually changing the world because of the action you took.

This blew me away as I never equated asking someone to retweet a quote to losing their integrity. I thought it was a great way to remember these special men and to share some of their great insights.

After this was brought up, I can see how one could possibly begin to lose the fight to maintain integrity. If all we ever do is tweet good words and yet never act on them, what good are we? How are we really improving the world?

Those thoughts brings me to this post and the idea of maintaining our integrity while living a life true to ourselves.

So, what can be done to win the battle that wants us to lose our integrity?

Be true to yourself: First and foremost, be true to yourself. If someone asks you to retweet a quote or a link and you don’t feel it lives up to your standards or goals, don’t do it. Or if someone asks you to do something that goes against what you believe, tell them no and don’t do it.

This brings up memories of my middle school days. In 6th or 7th grade, my friends began to think it was fun to use profane words.

These guys would hang out behind the school whispering and sharing the bad words they’d learned.

One day a couple of these friends approached me and tried to influence me to curse with them. However, even at that age, I knew it would affect my integrity to do so.

When I refused to use the same words they used, they resorted to offering me cold, hard cash to do something against my beliefs. In the end, I knew what was right and what was wrong. I refused to do what was asked.

Don’t cave into the requests of others just because you follow them and they ask. You’ve got to stay true to your direction even if that means going against the request of someone else.

Be honest with others: I’m so glad a couple of readers brought up this issue with the request for tweets. This issue of integrity never crossed my mind when I asked others to retweet the quotes.

Rather, I was hoping it would inspire people. That they would see what great men have done and hope to do the same.

With this honest reply, I was able to see not everyone sees this in the same light. It also helped me realize people react to requests in different ways.

Honesty opens up the eyes of others and allows you to be true to yourself.

Be aware of your choices: Robert Brault once said

“You do not wake up one morning a bad person. It happens by a thousand tiny surrenders of self-respect to self-interest.”

Each choice you make has an effect on your integrity. You either make choices that add to your integrity or choices to surrender and lose the integrity you hold so dear.

Learn to examine the choices laid before you. Decide whether or not they add to your integrity. Make the choices that will make you a person of integrity.

Integrity can be an easy thing to lose. It can also be an easy thing to maintain when we’re aware of the actions we can take to keep it.

I know you want to live a life of integrity. I encourage you to do so.

Remember, be true to yourself, be honest with others, and know the choices you make affect your integrity.

Question: How do you maintain your integrity? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ah! Oh BOY! I had three different comments very similar- and one quite nasty about a quote I had shared because they didn’t agree with the politics, religion or whatever of the person who said it! I am of a mind with you- I love quotes, not because of WHO said them so much- I really don’t care WHO says them- but what they they SAY- how it finally computes into my own mind and life, THAT is what matters. The ultimate TRUTH behind the words- THAT is what matters. How I make it reality- how it helps me remember my own purpose- and in turn how I can help others- is what matters.

    People make mistakes. Some people make terrible ones. Some people even go so far as to hurt others with their terrible choices. This is NOT my path. It does NOT however mean that EVERYTHING they said and did was wrong or bad. It means they fell off or left the right path. (sometimes). We MUST remember there is good to be learned in everything and everyone. Even the worst of humans- even in their most terrible times. Even if it is only a clear view of what NOT to do or be.

    I think this is a lot like “throwing the baby out with the bath water”. LOL

    • Oh no! That always sucks Amber-Lee. Those attacks can sting but it’s because people can’t realize we can still find value in those we disagree with.

  • Brian Snyder

    Joe, I like this idea of “battling” to maintain integrity. There are so many things in this crazy world that invite a person to lose their integrity. I’ve got teenagers at home and this is a very hot topic in our house right now. I’m battling every day to get my kids to see integrity is the most important of their possessions (yes, even more important than their phone). Thanks for the post. Keep it up.

    • Keep up the good fight Brian. I can only imagine how difficult the fight must be with teenagers these days. There’s so many forces pulling them in directions they shouldn’t go.

  • Just faced this today. I’m publish weekly interviews with people and today I received one from someone I enjoy and respect greatly. In his interview, he shares something that I would never personally publish on my blog. I haven’t lost any respect for this person. It’s who he is. It’s authentic. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I love this guy!

    However, I feel like sharing his words the way he shared them would do a disservice to my readers. They know this phrase doesn’t fit who I am or what I represent. So do I compromise because these are not “my words” and use a phrase I’d never put on my site because it’s not me speaking or do I hold strong to my standards and miss sharing this great interview?

    Personally, I’m going for Plan C and talking with my friend about the situation. I’m pretty sure we can find a solution that’s a win-win for him and my audience.

    Great thoughts here, Joseph. Thanks for sharing. Well timed for me!

  • Oh wow… this really has me thinking. Time to remember that even the smallest things and acts matter in the larger scheme of things. Thanks for this post today, I needed to hear this!

    • Glad to hear it was exactly what you needed today Christine. Keep up your integrity, it’s what’s true about you!