Integrity? I stared with my eyes wide open at the computer screen, trying to remember when the last time I actually used the term in a practical application. But then I mocked myself a little, to reconsider if I actually knew what the term meant and if I practice it in its true form. My quest to find it out began with researching on every aspect that revolved around this tiny, yet huge term: Integrity!
I remember my grandmother’s words when she asked her little granddaughter to keep one thing constant in her life, which was how she was raised. The word “constant” used by her brought me closer to my answer. To be able to live with a certain consistency in one’s life, keeping up our best efforts to light up the world with our soul’s brightness, is what I call integrity. Staying true to ourselves by all means, through every curve that life throws at us, is what I call integrity. Upholding our ethics to their roots and utilizing these roots to cure ailing lives is what I call integrity.
Practicing integrity in an individual’s life begins at that moment when he/she starts to see the world through their own spectacles. These spectacles comprise of a person’s beliefs, views and ability to deal with the cascade of cards that are thrown in front of him/her as a test of his/her integrity, or rather, I would say consistency, in the mere game of life. Because as soon as we evolved, our minds evolved, and so did our worldly perspective. On one hand, we took over the creature’s job by manipulating genes to change physiology, but, on the other, we lack self-stability.
There’s more in the room but nothing on the window.
When asked about practicing integrity in real life, most of us raise our heads high and claim to do so, but, I would say none of us truly understand the term, so, we do not practice it nor do we stick to it in practice. For example, my moral values tell me we should respect all creatures equally and show affection towards all of them, and yet we are the same ones judging and bullying others on physical attributes, which are something they are not even to be blamed of. I remember laughing at a kid in school for his dark skin tone and we often called him a ghost as an insult. But as soon as I was mocked for not being as good looking as my other siblings, I shook my head in shame, and it all came back around to me. And that’s when I walked up to that kid and apologized to him, and also told him we’re all equal and it does not matter what avatars we receive in this world, but, what matters is how well we play our roles.
And at that precise moment was the first time when I actually practiced integrity and understood the very meaning of it. I realized the fact that there is nothing better than two souls connecting on every level because I believe beauty without depth is just decoration. And the depth is what is meant to be discovered, so as to have a broader and brighter view of our personal principles of functioning in this maze-like world.
Most of us claim to be a perfectionist when it comes to practicing integrity in real life. But in the true sense, very few of us actually make a difference by doing so. I hold my ethics strong and use their power to tackle the consequences which don’t need materialistic solutions, but a mentally calm and collective decision.
I feel lacking this special quality in an individual, is like the earth without an atmosphere; just like earth won’t be a special planet if it did not have air to breath, in a similar manner, if we don’t possess integrity we won’t be able to differentiate between humans.
Yes, I agree with the fact that integrity without knowledge is weak, but we’re humans, and therefore, we learn and evolve. Well, I am keeping pace with my learning and application of this basic, yet necessary, value. And I believe all of us should, else, we are all dancing on life’s volcano at present and might continue to do that in the future too.
About the Author:
Nidhi Sharma (Khalsa College 26)