The Integrity Approach

Fortunately, in our society today there is a hue and cry demanding that we return to ethical standards. It’s a “buzzword” in our society — and it’s about time. Unfortunately, they’re using the wrong word. The word we should be concerned about teaching is “integrity,” because people with integrity will behave in an ethical manner.

Dr. Jay Strack says that “integrity involves realistic harmony of our talk and our walk. Integrity shines in the congruity of our behavior with our belief.” Dr. Stephen Carter, in his book “Integrity,” writes that it is “summarized as ‘true virtue’ with a sense of uprightness, honesty and sincerity. The Oxford English Dictionary includes three ideas: ‘wholeness, perfection and uprightness.’ Our colloquial expression is that people of integrity ‘have it all together.'”

“Integrity is the lack of pretense,” continues Strack. “In contrast to the image-polishing hype of a marketing-oriented world, it is the simple innocence of being one’s transformed self without regard to the opinions or judgment of a godless society.

“Two word pictures of sincerity are instructive to the meaning of integrity. Our word ‘sincere’ actually is derived from two Latin words, sine and cere, which mean ‘without’ and ‘wax.’ In making furniture, wax was used to fill in pitchpockets and to conceal mars in the wood or mistakes of the carpenter. Skillfully treated with wax, the blemish was covered, looking well for sale but later hard usage or heat brought out the wax cover-up. A merchant of integrity would write on his products sine cere (without wax), guaranteeing genuineness.”

The thought and message are clear: Live and act with integrity, and you will not only have genuine success but the peace of mind that goes with having a clear conscience. Take that approach, and I’ll see you at the top!

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