Thinking About Integrity

Back when I was still troublingly addicted to self-help books I encountered one that offered a “new” approach that resonated with my goal of self-discovery. Dr. Brad Blanton’s Radical Honesty had just been published in 1995; and I checked out a copy from the public library. It was different in that it wasn’t another boilerplate, feel-good book. It was mental manna from the heavens. In the book, Blanton basically called B.S. on the common lies, myths, and superstitions we harbor in our minds. It remains one of the very few self-help books I recommend to my friends.

Put another way, radical honesty is the practice of cultivating integrity. That is, integrity being the whole mind carried not only into theorizing, but what one carries through into speech and action. It provides the foundation for a strong, effective way of life.

Humanity’s default manner of behavior is to go along to get along. We are often told to not rock the boat. To do this, we tell little white lies and sometimes big whoppers. With each fib, a little bit of our essential nature dies. The alternative is to cultivate radical honesty. This is how we rediscover and defend our sense of purpose. With integrity we are true to what matters and to who we are. We can do this without being harsh or rude to ourselves and others. By living with integrity, we live from a place of strength.

“Whether humanity is to comprehensively prosper…depends entirely on the integrity of the human individuals and not on the political and economic systems. The cosmic question has been asked: are humans worthwhile to universe invention?”–architect, author, designer, futurist, and theorist, R. Buckminster Fuller

Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, integrity boils down to what we think and how we translate those thoughts into what we say and do. It is this integrality that creates the coherence and cohesion that is our philosophical living process. When you can honestly answer the question, “Are you really being true to yourself?”, with a bold “yes”, then you have integrity. It is important to not only possess integrity to gain the trust of yourself and others; one must also perform. If a person is only honest but does not physically perform, that person is not trustworthy. Words are cheap, but getting the job done is what matters in the end.

As we continuously construct our lives we can choose bondage, unethical ideals, and warped thinking; or we can consciously choose curiosity, freedom, and integrity. As we live with inner directness, identity, and integrity we define ourselves as we truly see fit. There is exhilaration and peace that comes with living the best that we can be. Living with integrity brings about respect for others and oneself.


The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the second president of Japan’s Soka Gakkai Buddhist movement, Josei Toda. “True greatness means that, even if you forget what you’ve done for others, you never forget what others have done for you. It means always doing your utmost to repay debts of gratitude. Such people radiate integrity, depth of character, bigheartedness and charm.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, philosophy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Thinking About Integrity

  1. Pingback: ReBlogging ‘Thinking About Integrity’ – Link Below | Relationship Insights by Yernasia Quorelios

  2. Integrity is crucial along with objectivity. Many companies have corporate charters where they express their core values. Honesty and/or integrity is in almost every charter. In practice, other motivations take priority and honesty and integrity are taken for granted.

  3. rkrontheroad says:

    I often wonder how some of those in government positions of power can sleep at night, when they have chosen ego and personal gain over integrity. This was a good discussion.

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