I had a prodromal essay on the subject of integrity but it seems to have disappeared. This is most curious for I had three versions of it on three different computers (home office, work, and laptop). They have been all absconded, perhaps Hair Furor and his minions have deleted them as it is a now-forbidden attribute. So as not to let down the Spo-fan who requested said entry, I will be succinct to the point in this remake.

Integrity is what we do when no one is looking. It is doing the right thing even when you know you could get away with it. Some examples:

Stopping at the stop sign late at night when no one is around to see you.

Obeying the highway entry traffic light even when you know you can get away with it.

Not taking a small item when the gas station attendant has their back turned to you.

Keeping promise seven when certain the others have probably forgotten all about it.

Some would argue integrity is even more defined about what you WON’T do despite what everyone else is doing. People who see others blowing through the mentioned highway ramp entry signal are more likely to do likewise along the line what the hell everyone is doing it.   It is a common phenomenon when folks see cheaters getting away with something they follow.

Honor and Integrity are not synonymous. Integrity is a ‘within me” matter while honor is something bestowed on you. Honor can be horizontal (given by peers) or vertical (given by minions and underlines). Most of the time honor and integrity are highly correlated but not always. One can lose honor for having integrity and one could be honored for tossing integrity. I once had a patient of a certain background who told me in his culture to not steal when possible would lose honor.

Thanks to my Midwest Protestant upbringing Integrity is rather ingrained. I am one to do things one should do even when no one is looking – I think. There are exceptions. I don’t wipe down the gym equipment with hand sanitizer, even though the rule says to do so, on the scientific rationale this does no good. At the grocery store I don’t point out to the check-out lady my vegetables are the more expensive organic ones, but hope she won’t notice. There goes my good Henley St. name. Perhaps I qualify after all for a federal government job.