Values – Integrity & Trust
Today we talk about values. And the two I am going to discuss are Trust and Integrity.
Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions.
The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. In this context, integrity is the inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others "have integrity" to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs, and principles they claim to hold.
Dictionary: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
In a social context, a situation characterized by the following aspects: One party (trustor) is willing to rely on the actions of another party (trustee); the situation is directed to the future.
In addition, the trustor (voluntarily or forcedly) abandons control over the actions performed by the trustee. As a consequence, the trustor is uncertain about the outcome of the other's actions; they can only develop and evaluate expectations. The uncertainty involves the risk of failure or harm to the trustor if the trustee will not behave as desired.
Trust is believing that the person who is trusted will do what is expected. It starts at the family and grows to others.
Dictionary: The firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.
Trust and Integrity Linked
While these two values may appear to be quite separate, I believe them to be inextricably linked. You can’t have one without the other.
I can rely (trust) on you if you are honest (integrity), can’t I?
Note: this trust thing is something that starts at the FAMILY according to the definition above.
I am reminded of a story told to me recently of a young woman (possibly about 12 yrs old at the time ) who, finding that she needed some extra money, borrowed it from a very generous older woman – a ‘friend’ of the family.
The young woman began to pay back the loan as soon as she could, but was stopped by her parents. A learning opportunity squandered. But, more importantly, a lesson that honesty, trust, and integrity were values not to be considered important.
Imagine being taught that, at such a young and vulnerable age? As far as I know, this young woman (now 18 at time of writing) has shaken off the shackles of this upbringing to become an admirable member of society. (That’s me being judgmental, isn’t it?)
Integrity is and has been one of the cornerstones of my life. I believe that there is no higher aim than, to be honest in everything, (of course, I am human and make mistakes as often as most – I am not perfect, but I am as authentic as possible) and to strive for the wholeness alluded to in the above Wikipedia definition.
I think more needs to be said about TRUST, but that is for another time.
Let me know what you think.