Integrity Means Having Self-Respect

Br. Jim Thomas’ column on integrity in the most recent issue of The Delta is a must read.  Here are a few of my favorite parts:

In the abstract, however, the virtue is puzzling. Often quoted—the word crops up everywhere—but rarely defined, it is frequently interchanged with the cardinal virtues of courage and honesty of which it is neither. Ask for definition; a dozen are forthcoming. Moreover, in this frantic age, few pause to reflect on integrity and its value in everyday life.

What unseen forces motivate a person to practice this virtue? It has many motivations, including pride, individualism, the insistence on independent thought and action. All, however, are outranked by one imperishable inducement–a determination to maintain one’s self-respect.

The quest for integrity is neither an easy nor an ending task. Sometimes the price for self-respect is higher than many will pay. However, the benefits are enormous. For integrity leads inevitably to the priceless assets of trustworthiness, good reputation, reliability, fairness, square dealing, truthfulness, and forthrightness. Among the brotherhood, at the fraternity house, on campus and beyond, such assets are of value beyond measure.

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