Thoughts on Integrity

Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

Somewhere along the way, between the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and the era of Trump that began 230 years later in 2017, we, as a nation, lost our integrity.  There is no integrity in our federal government, nor, I suspect, in the states’ governments.  There is little, if any, integrity within the medical profession.  There is no integrity in the religious community, and less than there should be in our schools.  And We The People are complicit in the destruction of integrity in this nation.

We The People are willing to accept a president who lies so much that he would not recognize the truth if it smacked him in the face.  We The People are willing to vote into office, members of Congress who take bribes from corporations and lobbyist groups.  We The People have supported candidates who beat up reporters, who have broken or failed to uphold the law, who have sexually abused women and children.  We The People have failed to hold our elected officials to the highest standards.

Even in the entertainment industry, integrity is obsolete, though perhaps it never applied in that venue, but consider Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman and others.  Sports?  Consider the recent headlines of the Olympic doctor, Larry Nassar, accused of decades of sexual harassment of young athletes.

Surely you don’t think there is integrity in industry?  Consider the concept of planned obsolescence, or the way corporations put money into the pockets of lawmakers so that they will vote against regulatory bills to protect the environment and the well being of humans and wild life.

preamblePolice departments have largely lost their integrity when for the past several years, African-Americans and Latinos have been profiled, targeted, and often murdered by police for no reason other than the colour of their skin. The officers involved pay little or no penalty.  At one point, police departments were under scrutiny by the Department of Justice, but as of last year, the Department of Justice is overseen by a bigot with no integrity.

Integrity.  Such a simple concept, really, yet humans seem to find it inceasingly hard to do.  Honesty.  Values.  When the leader of our nation stands in front of television cameras and lies, threatens and incites violence, he is telling us that he has no integrity.  When we vote for him, when we support him by any means, we are saying that the nation has lost its integrity.

Perhaps it is time to send the words ‘integrity’ and ‘honesty’ to the archives of obsolete words, such as apricity, elflock, and brabble.

I do not contend that there are not honest people in this nation, for there are and I know some of them.  But I do contend that even those honest people, people of integrity, are contributing to the downfall of values in the institutions we once trusted, such as government, churches, schools and hospitals.  We are not powerless to stop the corruption in those institutions.  We have two things:  a voice and a vote.  If we choose not to use those tools, we are complicit in enabling the corruption.  When we cast a vote for a Roy Moore, a Donald Trump or a Devin Nunes, we are sending a message that we no longer care about integrity.  When we support companies that are not environmentally conscientious, we are sending a message that our whims take precedence over protecting the earth.  When you support a religion that discriminates against anybody … other races, religions, or the LGBT community, you are sending the message that you are okay with bigotry.  Those who say Donald Trump is ‘doing a great job’ are saying, in essence, that they have sold their souls downriver, that they no longer believe in or care about truth, honesty, or humanitarian values.

The sad truth is that in one way or another, we are all complicit in the devaluation of this nation.  What started out as a grand idea has fallen prey to greed and human foibles.  We can choose to turn it around or not, but if we don’t make some major changes very soon, we will wake up one morning and find we are not who we thought we were.

51 thoughts on “Thoughts on Integrity

  1. Pingback: The demise of Philosophical Integrity amidst the rise of Sectarianism | The Secular Jurist

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  3. I was sitting with this man yesterday. He was born in the Ukraine but moved to Poland and worked there for seven years before he came to Canada. After revealing this to me he said that North America is heading to Civil war and the number one reason is the gap between the 1% and the rest of us.

    If we think this man is off and it can’t happen in our continent think twice.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It is human nature Jill that society places so much trust and faith in those folks who have lots of money to their name and never bother to question the integrity, experience or trustworthiness or the genuineness of these people they elect to public office.

        Liked by 1 person

        • True, but I wonder why people think those with riches to their names make better leaders or are more trustworthy? It has been my observation that most very wealthy people did not get that way by being completely honest..

          Liked by 1 person

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  5. Reblogged this on Opher's World and commented:
    I’m from the UK but I second what you say. We have an integrity issue here in the UK. The kowtowing to corporations, blatant lies and misrepresentation, the abuse of power and corruption. People are losing faith in the political classes. Brexit was the biggest bunch of lies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much … and welcome! I have a number of friends here from the UK and I always appreciate their perspective on what is happening here in the U.S. I think the lack of integrity is a global problem, but is magnified in the US at the moment because of the lack of ethics in the Trump administration. Overall, greed seems to be at the foundation of the problem, but I’m just not sure how we go about fixing it. Again, thank you and I hope you’ll come back!


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  7. Dear Jill,

    It’s almost as if someone who does have character and integrity is on an island by themselves.Society pays dearly for not valuing more those with character and integrity.
    It is always a puzzle, when people who are part of an entity get sucked into doing something wrong to keep a pay check. At least some employees at Gen Motors had to be aware of building a product with a design flaw that would and did cost consumers their lives. There were employees who were aware of banks mishandling of mortgage foreclosures but they went along to get along. There are a myriad of stories like this.

    Then there are our elected leaders who have been on TV lying with a straight face with the realization that there may be video tapes proving that they are liars. But then, What’s integrity to them.

    You are right! “We the people” have to stop voting for these jerks and buying from companies who have been guilty of taking advantage of their consumers without having showed a real effort to change their business culture to where values like integrity and decency are the norm.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do so agree with you. Twice in my career as an accountant (CPA) I left a job, for I was asked to change numbers, fudge sales figures, or lie about how money was being spent. I refused both times and handed in my resignation the next day. I do not see how anybody working in the Trump administration can sleep at night, let alone live day after day with their own conscience. Perhaps they don’t have one?

      We all need to stand up for what we believe in … trouble is, some people don’t believe in anything except money. Sigh.


      Liked by 1 person

  8. Integrity and commitment to the truth begin at a personal level. Just because all politicians are liars, all doctors care more for money than they do for their patients, and all government officials are ‘jobsworths’ doesn’t mean that you and I have to be the same. If most of the ordinary people in the street acted with true integrity then there would be no room for the charlatans at the top of the heap.
    But, maybe that’s asking too much of the ordinary person in the street.
    Hugs Jill
    ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are quite right that integrity and values begin at a personal level, but even more importantly, I think kids learn them from their parents, and then carry them, hopefully, for a lifetime. The fact that we are seeing fewer and fewer with integrity, I think, speaks to the lack of adequate teaching by parents. Just my opinion. And, of course, the lure of greed plays a role as kids transition into adulthood. Not easy to overcome.

      Hugs!!! ❤


  9. You brought up some very interesting points on loss of integrity and it is very true. How can we regain it back? How can we learn to trust one another ? Very difficult. Is it an impossible task?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And welcome! You must be John’s wife?

      You ask some very good questions, and ones that I have been struggling with, but unfortunately, thus far I have not come up with any answers. And that final question is the one that worries me most. One of my readers, an astute philosophical citizen of the UK assures me that if we look to the lessons of history, we will see that this has happened before and that all will be well … eventually. I hope he’s right, but patience is not my strong suit, and I want to start healing what I refer to as ‘the great divide’ NOW! I fear what will happen if we don’t start to find some middle ground soon.

      Again, thank you!


  10. It takes a lot of courage to say what you just did and I admire you for it. But this isn’t just America now, this corruption of values has spread world-wide and is eating man’s civilization to the bare bones.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry Jill, what I meant to say was, it is NOT all in America, not all America’s doing. These is a general decadence happening world wide destroying man’s civilization. This movement is tied in with climate change since all that’s left of man’s intimate connection to the planet is basically anthropologically induced climate change. With our numbers and technology we have developed an abusive brute husband to wife and children relationship with the earth and as the earth suffers and “withdraws” we are going to fall exponentially through a series of predictable massive fails: breathable air, potable water and arable lands. This is a global event that is now irreversible. America’s ‘in your face’ loudness and crassness actually masks the extent of the real damage being done globally by the military industrial complex that is the indisputable current totalitarian ruler of the world. So what do we do? Like your amazing heroes, we do what we are called to do, and as you did here, we tell the truth. Then we live our own integrity and find our own joy. The is a possibly Turkish proverb that reads, ‘If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain’. When we find ourselves beating our heads against a stone wall that only grows thicker and stronger it is wise to find an alternative.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You make some excellent points. In essence, I think we, those of us with integrity, values and a conscience, do the best we can to shine a light on the good, condemn the evil, educate the masses … but at the end of the day, we must find a way to step back and breathe, else we burn out and are of no use to anyone. Balance … and sometimes I have a hard time finding that, but my friends here on WP always manage to help me get it back. Thanks for your wise words, Sha’Tara.


  11. You’re quite right I did like this. I like the fact hat it reminds people about something they once had and valued and that many probably think they still have. Integrity. But integrity disappears under the bus the minute you put a corporation that pollutes or an immoral politician before the welfare of people. It has disappeared for good if you know you share the values of a man who thinks that the KKK are fine upstanding people and that the white races are better than those of colour who can be arbitrarily killed by lawmen without penalty and you’re neither shocked nor sorrowed at the shame of it.
    Imagine the World you’re creating for your children and who you expect to bring forth the next generation who will treat as normal the things you encourage as the rest of the world looks on in horror. It’s time to take a long hard look at yourselves to decide whether you recognise the integrity you lost and whether you want it back. It’s not too late but it is time to be vocal in the name of change.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It was actually the one on presidential etiquette that I said I thought you would like, but I’m glad you liked this one as well. This one was actually a product of my angst today, that was topped off by the news of Devin Nunes’ “secret memo” that is likely to blow the great divide wide open in the next week or two. Sigh. and once again … sigh.

      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx


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  13. Jill, I am still surprised and dismayed at the great rationalization that is being done by Trump supporters and tolerates. A few would include, he is just telling it like it is, he is just saying what we all think, he is just opinionated, he is just being a New Yorker. I know many New Yorkers and none are like this man. When one woman said on a year in review panel that he is saying what people are thinking, an independent voter said “I don’t think like that.” He went onto to add Trump is a racist pure and simple.

    The best description is “integrity is what you do when no one is watching.” It is a word I would not use with this President or his sycophants who have tarnished whatever integrity they had. Keith

    Liked by 5 people

    • No, I would not use it with him, and have never heard him use the word ‘integrity’ either. I wonder if he could define it, if asked? This administration reminds me of a huge chess game … we are the pawns. Wake me when it’s over.


      • Jill, we may have got to a point that every article should include a Fact Check – these comments made above by the President (or Senator or so-called news agency) are deemed “Mostly False,” these are deemed “False” and these are deemed “Pants on Fire” using Politifacts rating system.

        He said he did not ask Mueller to be fired. I do not believe him. The odds are in m favor. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • No, my friend, I do not believe him either, and I don’t think anybody does, but he said exactly what we all expected him to say, yes? The fact check idea is a sound one, but these days I am finding that his supporters mostly do not even believe the fac-theckers. More than once I have had somebody tell me that Snopes is a “liberal tool”. I was quite proud, however, of my friend Brian. He had posted on Facebook a meme that I suspected to be untrue. I fact-checked it, found it indeed to be untrue, and sent him a private message telling him. The next day, he posted an apology for sharing false information. It takes a big man to do that, and I respect him for it. He remains the only republican I can have civil discourse with!


  14. Some have sold out to groups that only want to impose their agenda of economic and social injustice to keep their status in our country. None of them give a damn about people on the margins or fringes. I think we live in a time when its more about me than we.

    Liked by 4 people

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