The true measure of a man’s integrity is not what he will do, but rather what he won’t do.
Have you watched a TV lately? Have you noticed that most sitcoms are based entirely on dishonesty? If the characters would stop lying to each other, the premise of most shows would fall apart. How much humor can be found in getting caught in a lie, week after week? If I lived in one of those homes, there would be a divorce happening immediately. There’s no integrity in any of the relationships.
Integrity means no lying, cheating, or stealing. It means you deal with everyone honestly and honorably. You don’t cheat on your wife, or make BS excuses to your kids. You have to make sure you have nothing to feel guilty about and expect the same from the people you deal with. It’s not always easy. If a waitress accidentally forgets to ring up a meal, or a store clerk only rings up one DVD, or the scanner borks itself and give an extra 50% off, you speak up, even if it costs $100. That’s honesty.
Ultimately, what you do during the day, you have to sleep with at night. This includes avoiding responsibilities. Always do what you say, barring forgetfulness, and in that case, make up for it immediately. Don’t break promises, don’t skip out on debts, and don’t get into commitments you have no intention of honoring.
I’ve discovered that the best way to keep your stories straight is to only tell the truth. I don’t have to coordinate an alibi or remember which lie I told to which person if I am honest in all of my dealings. It’s not the easy path. It would be easier to sneak large purchases into the house, or tell my wife I was working late instead of going out for a beer. There are a lot of shortcuts I refuse to take with my life. People act like I’m stupid because I won’t cheat anyone. I enjoy being treated like that, because it means I know who to avoid in the future. If you break promises, lie, cheat, steal, or skip out on your responsibilities, I don’t want to associate with you. Honesty is an important part of my life and relationships. I won’t apologize for that.
What are your core values?