Bring the Other “I” Word Back

It’s time, or more accurately, it is long overdue. It is time to bring the other “I” word back. You know the one I’m talking about, not the “it’s all about me” I word, but the other one. Integrity.

Somewhere along the way we got lost. Exactly when did integrity get stricken from our vocabulary in terms of our conduct and moral code? Regardless, it’s time to find our way back. Both as individuals and as a nation, integrity should be one of the cornerstones of our value system. Otherwise, mankind’s future looks rather bleak doesn’t it?


Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”. Words like honesty, honor, morals, righteousness, virtue, fairness, sincerity, and trustworthiness come to mind when we consider people with integrity. As a nation, integrity is defined as “the state of being whole and undivided”. In this context, the common synonyms include unity, cohesion, togetherness and solidarity.

The recent Presidential campaign has once again revealed the dark side of humanity. If this is a reflection of what we can expect from our new leaders in government, then we are in trouble. However, we are not immune to criticism here either. With the elections finally over, it is time to step away from the campaign rhetoric, the social media bashing that has consumed us these past few years, and take a long, hard look at ourselves.

Are we setting the right example of someone of integrity in terms of how we conduct ourselves, and our treatment of others? If not, then how can we in good conscience hold others to a higher standard?

“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Browne, Jr.

Honesty and integrity are essential to success in all aspects of life. If this is still rings true with you, then explain to me how we have gotten so far off track as a nation, and as a people? Our moral compass has been severely tested and I am appalled at how poorly we have responded. As a society and individually, we have shown a total lack of regard for truth and fairness, and little regard for how we treat others. This is unacceptable and we must all do better!

So, what should we do to restore integrity as an essential part of the fabric of our daily lives?

Rather than wasting time this holiday season on New Year’s resolutions that have a 60-90 day shelf life, do this instead. Ask yourself what you need to do to improve your Integrity Quotient (IQ) and become a better ….

  1.  Spouse.
  2.  Parent.
  3.  Neighbor.
  4.  Co-worker.
  5.  Friend.
  6.  Servant.
  7.  Leader.

Identify at least one thing in each area to work on, and then expand from there. This will give you a fairly substantial list of improvement items to focus on for 2021. Following through on these self-improvement areas will help you to become a better version of yourself and a role model for others.

Take the right path and be a person of integrity. As Confucius said, “The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home”. Bring back this essential I word and do your part by setting the right example in your home and in all other areas of your life.

Enjoy the journey!


COPYRIGHT © 2016-2020 John Carroll