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The Value of Integrity

The Value of Integrity

According to Webster’s Dictionary, integrity is “a firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values.” To me, integrity goes hand-in-hand with character and honesty. Integrity is what compels you to do the right thing all the time. It makes you do the small things when nobody is looking, simply because you know it’s the right choice to make.

In everyday life, integrity can be seen in many different places. For instance, while walking down the street, you find someone’s wallet. Integrity is what causes you to find the rightful owner and return it to them. Or, say you’re on a relay team and your coach can’t be at practice. He tells you what to do, then leaves. Rather than put a half-hearted effort into it, you try your hardest, as if he’s there watching you, knowing that you’re cheating yourself and your teammates if you don’t go all out. Again, your integrity is what made you do the right thing.

I have been in similar situations in my lifetime. At Price Chopper, I saw a dollar lying on the floor, picked it up, and asked the elderly man in front of me if he dropped it. He said, “Yes it was,” and then insisted I keep it for being honest. Had I not asked, a feeling of guilt would have knotted up my stomach when I tried to spend it, knowing it wasn’t rightfully mine. Also, rather than slacking off and not running because coach couldn’t see me, I still trained hard and had great results. Our 4X800 relay team placed 1st at Regionals and competed at the state track meet, because we didn’t cheat ourselves. This goes to show that doing the right thing may be tough, but in the end, only good feelings, not guilt or regret, come from it.

It’s a shame, however, that more people in today’s society don’t possess or don’t show integrity. If more people were to practice integrity, the world would definitely be a better place. It would especially help individuals, as they would not be living with guilt or regret for not making what they knew to be the right choice. Integrity is definitely a good characteristic to possess, but not too many people do.

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