Updated: Aug 16
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”
Integrity. Well, what does integrity mean?
The Oxford defines integrity as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. In layman language, integrity means standing by your word in everything you do.
We, human beings are social animals. We cannot survive without being a part of a society. And to be a part of that society, we need to be reliable and trustworthy. A person without integrity is neither reliable nor trustworthy and hence a parasite to the society—sucking off everything that the society gives without any returns.
Today, we are in the new tech-infested era. We live in a place where people over-promise and under deliver. Job applicants exaggerate their skills because they need a job. CEOs overstate their projected growth so that the board doesn’t replace them. Entrepreneurs forge statistics so that they can grab big investors. And this cycle of over-promising and under delivering continues due to the lack of integrity.
Moral values are discarded and corners are cut to be able to climb another step towards a pre-defined success. The power to be able to ignore our own conscience is addicting. And like any addict, people drown in this spiral of power. As children, we have heard stories about how dishonest people never succeed. The blackness in real life is a contrast to those stories. Yes, one can give out examples of people without integrity who have tasted success in their lives. And even though that gives other people a false pretense of how they can achieve success, the success is short lived.
Say you have a business and it has its ups and downs but the goodwill among your customers is maintained if and only if you have integrity. You will lose your customer base if you lose your integrity. And a business without a customer base is nothing but a straight fall to bankruptcy.
Integrity starts from within. A person must stay true to oneself. And only then, will they be able to maintain their integrity with others. Once a person starts keeping their word, they learn the importance of it. This energy will flow into their personal and professional lives and they will be able to live a much satisfied and a happier life.