Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Not Knitting

Please don't take this to mean that I am "not knitting." I am. But it's all pretty dull as far as showing off goes, so I am holding off on the showing off until I have at least a larger amount of dullness to show.

Today I want to ask a question: Do you know what integrity is?

A friend of mine recently said that his favorite quality in his fiance is her integrity. The entire bridal shower went Awwwwww! the way only a group of women high on mimosas and matrimony can. I did, too. But I think I awwwwed at the fact that this man named such an unusual trait and had obviously put some thought into his answer. (Coulda said she was hot. Coulda said funny. Coulda said a lot of things. Didn't.) I was impressed... but later I realized that I wasn't sure why I was impressed. What is integrity, anyway?

I'm not an idiot, I sorta get it. It's about doing the right thing and being consistent about it. Something about being yourself. Sorta. Right? (Incidentally, I was never quizzed on this word for my SATs. Maybe I'd have gotten into Yale if I had...)

But I've never thought to myself, "Self, you have integrity!" or "Self, you're a little short in the integrity department." It's not a word I identify with in regards to myself. Am I honest? Yes. To peoples' faces? Usually (if asked). Am I funny? I think so (seriously, I'm hilarious). Am I humble? Obviously. Am I forgiving? To a fault. I'm a lot of good things. But am I... integrious? Integrish? Integrated? What is the adjective version of this mysterious word?!

I am not asking you to tell me if you think I have integrity. I think it might be something I need to identify in myself in order to believe you anyway. I want to know what you think integrity IS. And do you think YOU have it? Is it something you ever thought of at all?

What is integrity to you?


Anne-Marie said...

Is 'Integral' the adjective? I dont think so, but i'm gonna go with it.

I have to agree, I would never describe myself of having integrity, even though, if taken in the dictionary definition sense (adherence to moral and ethical principles), I suppose I do that.

I wouldnt agree with the antonym (dishonesty) I can be trusted (for the most part). Nor the synonyms(virtuous or honorable) Who DOES say that about themselves in this day and age? Really now.

I try and follow rules and do the right thing for the most part, but I dont die inside if I drive over the speed limit or walk on the grass.

Its a tricky one really, and this is a lot of thinking (and brackets) for a comment.

Anonymous said...

you know, my highschool mathbook was called: Integrated Mathmatics. I always wondered what they meant by that so one day i asked my math teacher and he said it came from the word integrity..hmmm. As meaning 'whole or complete'. So now when i think of integrity it reminds me of being whole, having and keeping every good quality. Just a thought.

ellipsisknits said...

ahem. I feel kinda egotistical saying this, but yes, I do think that integrity is one of my most important personality traits.

Obviously, there are plenty of other positive traits that I have a ways to go on (and it's a little off-topic to list them here) but integrity is one of the ones that's important to me.

I see integrity as something along the lines of old-fashioned honor or chivalry. Doing 'what you think is right'. Which doesn't necessarily mean following every single unimportant rule either, just consistent adherence to your personal code.

It is a little outdated, of an ideal, but that's what makes your story so sweet.

I agree that it would be difficult to define yourself as not having integrity. It's not too hard to recognize that you have some trouble with, for instance, forgiveness, but believing that you do things you know are wrong, just for the heck of it (or because they're easier, more fun, &c.)... Most people would rationalize their way out of that pretty fast.

An interesting topic.


Peach said...

Integrity, to me, is having the opportunity to do something wrong and choosing not to.

I have integrity, but usually only because I don't want to suffer the consequences.