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Integrity andCharacter

"The important thing is not to disappoint yourself... Your life is your accomplishment!"

"To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting!"

~E. E. Cummings

"A person with integrity is one whose life reflects purpose and meaning, and this purpose and meaning is manifest in all that he/she does."
~Rev. Tim Griffin

According to the Josephson Institute of Ethics*: "The word INTEGRITY comes from the same Latin root as 'integer,' or whole number. Like a whole number, a person of integrity is undivided and complete. This means that the ethical person acts according to her beliefs, not according to expediency. She is also consistent. There is no difference in the way she makes decisions from situation to situation, her principles don't vary at work or at home, in public or alone. Because she must know who she is and what she values, the person of integrity takes time for self-reflection, so that the events, crises and seeming necessities of the day do not determine the course of her moral life. She stays in control. She may be courteous, even charming, but she is never duplicitous. She never demeans herself with obsequious behavior toward those she thinks might do her some good. She is trusted because you know who she is: what you see is what you get."

Lucinda Bassett wrote in "Life Without Limits": "Nothing gives you more confidence than knowing you operate from a place of integrity. Integrity is simple. It makes you like yourself. You feel good about who you are and why you do things. You feel good about yourself when you go to bed at night. You make decisions based on your integrity. It isn't always easy to do that, but it is gratifying to know that in the end you still like who you are, you can be proud of what you do, and your family and the people in your life -who trust you and love you- can be proud of you as well. You don't compromise in a world full of compromises. You don't sell out. You are valuable and worthy and strong in your convictions. Integrity is self worth."

That's so well said! You will definitely feel better about yourself when you have strong moral values and principles; when you are strong and stand up for them; and when you don't let others dictate to you what you should be doing. You know what is good for you, you know what is right and what is wrong.

She also says "If you don't feel good about yourself, there are things you can do to change that. Decide right now to start being honest, especially with yourself. Don't compromise your belief in what is right and wrong. Start making decisions based on those beliefs. Do something to make the world a better place. Volunteer and give your time to someone who needs it. Get involved. You'll begin to feel your energy changing, and so will others. This will give you an inner sense of power because you believe in yourself and in principles that almost act like a shield to protect you. It is as if no one can hurt you because no matter what they do they can't take your integrity away from you."

"It takes courage to have integrity: The highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity. Choosing right over wrong, ethics over convenience, and truth over popularity... these are the choices that measure your life. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing."

Now, let's define character. Character is the combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another; that form the individual nature of a person or thing; moral or ethical quality; qualities of honesty, fortitude, etc.; integrity. Jim Rohn** wrote: "CHARACTER is the result of hundreds and hundreds of choices you make that gradually turn who you are, at any given moment, into who you want to be. If that decision-making process is not present, you will still be somebody. You will still be alive, but may have a personality rather than a character. CHARACTER is not something you were born with, it is something that you must take responsibility for creating. Character is built by how you respond to what happens in your life and once it is formed, it will serve as a solid, lasting foundation upon which to build the life you desire..."

You are not a strong person just because you are physically strong or a bully. You become a strong person when you have strong values, integrity and good character. Of course, you can develop a strong physically fit body if you choose - that is good for your health; but in order to feel better about ourselves (deep inside), we have to learn to become persons with strong moral convictions, be honest with ourselves and others, treat others with kindness, respect, dignity and tolerance. We have to show interest in other people's lives and become giving persons - willing to help others. When we feel better about ourselves and who we are, we find inner peace and we are able to take better care of ourselves and others. We learn to be truly happy and we attract more people and have more friends, because we learn to be more understanding and more caring; we don't judge and criticize people; we don't expect others to be perfect (because we are not perfect) and we accept ourselves and others better with our weaknesses and shortcomings.

"Having character is shorthand for having good character, and that means being a person who is admirable because of his self-assured, ethical behavior. Character is ethics in action. One's character is one's habitual way of behaving. Character is not the same thing as reputation. Character is what you are."

"Your true character is revealed by the clarity of your convictions, the choices you make, and the promises you keep. Hold strongly to your principles and refuse to follow the currents of convenience. What you say and do defines who you are, and who you are, you are forever..."

"Character has to be developed. Whether we give in to or overcome the negative messages and influence we face often depends on whether our parents, teachers, mentors and friends have exposed us to their own good example and morally inspiring ideas."

"Character is knowing the good,
loving the good and doing the good."

Thomas Lickona

"Character is what you are in the dark."

Rev. Dwight Moody

"Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking ..."

H. Jackson Brown

*  Josephson Institute of Ethics/Character Counts! National Office
    9841 Airport Blvd., #300
    Los Angeles, CA  90045
    (310) 846-4800 (310) 846-
4857, fax

**  2003 Jim Rohn International.
      All rights reserved worldwide.

Lucinda Bassett wrote "Life Without Limits" (excellent book!). Copyright 2001. Printed by HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022. I recommend it to everyone; it is very powerful and has many positive lessons - to help us become better persons. Please read it, it has the power to change your life! Check:

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