This I Believe

Alyson - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 10, 2006

I believe in the power and importance of integrity. Integrity is who we are when no one is watching. Thomas Paine once wrote, “Character is much easier kept than recovered.” This quote holds true in life. It is easier to maintain a good reputation than it is to gain one after your reputation has been tainted. The words that we say and the actions we take are representations of who we are. A person of integrity strives to keep their actions in line with their values and beliefs at all times.

I believe integrity helps us succeed in life, and without it our life loses some of its meaning. Having integrity means having beliefs and convictions that we cling to in every aspect of our lives. This gives us a reason to wake up in the morning and a reason to make a difference in this world. Integrity enables us to positively influence others and allows us to mentor others to do the same. I believe if we lack integrity we lose the respect of others and are left to face life alone or disliked.

I believe integrity can be obtained by everyone. I also believe that integrity should be found in everyone, not just those of high stature or position. It is important for the leaders of our country or companies to have integrity, but it also is important for everyone in this world. My late Grandfather is a shining example for the power of integrity. He always said, “Let your name be synonymous with greatness and your word be your bond.” This quote greatly affected the life of my mother as well as my own. If my grandfather ever told someone he would do something he would do it no matter what. He was a hard-working man who never approached a job half-heartedly. He wanted to be viewed as someone who takes his work seriously. By doing this, no one could question his integrity. He was not perfect because no one is perfect, but he made sure he did not make promises he could not keep. My Grandfather inspired me to live a life of integrity. After his death, no one could question his character. Everyone at the funeral remarked on what a great man he was. He was constantly helping others and providing in any way he could. He would give someone the shirt off his back if they needed it. Therefore, I believe integrity can shape a life and influence others.

I believe in the words of Billy Graham, “Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” I believe a life without integrity is not a life worth living, but a life of integrity is attainable and inspiring.