There has been an awful lot in the British media recently about the British Prime Minister and lockdown parties, that apparently broke his won lockdown rules. The Metropolitan police have also been under scrutiny, with Cressida Dick resigning from her position, after many high profile scandals involving bad behaviour by police officers.
Integrity is a word which is not spoken of a great deal in contemporary society. And yet I wonder if it was more of a mantra and taken more seriously, whether we would see less scandalous behaviour in the public arena. Anyway, let’s unpick this a bit.
Integrity is defined as:
- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”a gentleman of complete integrity”synonyms:honesty · uprightness · probity · rectitude · honour · honourableness · [More]
- the state of being whole and undivided.”upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”synonyms:unity · unification · wholeness · coherence · cohesion · undividedness · togetherness · solidarity · coalition
- the condition of being unified or sound in construction.”the structural integrity of the novel”synonyms:soundness · robustness · strength · sturdiness · solidity · solidness · durability · stability · stoutness · toughness
- internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data.”integrity checking”
I think it is interesting that the two meanings are linked and imply that moral integrity leads to unity.
Thinking about moral integrity, what does this look like and why is it important. Using the lockdown parties as an example, many are enraged that they were adhering to rules and making sacrifices, when it appears some were fragrantly flouting these and enjoying themselves. This is in essence hypocrisy.
It is so easy to break rules and get away with it; a little speeding here, taking stationery from work there, upping expenses claims etc, but essentially this is acting in a dishonest manner. Personally, I feel living life with integrity means being honest in every area of life. And one person who I feel acts entirely with integrity is Queen Elizabeth II. She showed this when sitting alone for her husband’s funeral.
And why is integrity so important? Because without it lawlessness prevails. There is a veneer of the law but if no-one has integrity then basically it is an anything goes society.
These are just my views and of course I am interested to hear from followers on your views.
And here are some ways I think we can act with integrity
- Own up. If we make a mistake acknowledge and apologise and yes maybe even resign, as in the case of Cressida Dick, who was in the public eye and therefore represented the integrity of the Metropolitan Police force (or lack of it).
- Be transparent. Ask questions, be curious and don’t hide mistakes
- Be open with others. Be accountable to others and ask their opinions about your life and behaviour
- Be willing to change
- Be humble; none of us is perfect and we can all improve
These are just a few random thoughts. I am very interested to hear from you on this so let me know what you think.