This I Believe

Scott - Waterford, Michigan
Entered on September 25, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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My Integrity Stands

I believe that integrity is supreme. The greatest gift that I can give my self is to be able to look in the mirror and see staring back at me a person I can respect. A person I can trust. People have told me that I need to compromise what I believe. That I must break vows I have made; lie, cheat and steal to get a job so that I don’t have to be homeless. But I believe that it is more important to have true integrity than to have a home than to have life itself.

To have true integrity; I can not allow my circumstances to justify doing that which is not right. I cannot allow the opinion of those around me to sway my judgment. I cannot allow pride, political correctness, or spiritual politics to blind me from the truth. To have true integrity I must face the harsh realities of the world head on with courage and resolve to stand and be a man of integrity, to not give into the temptations to steal, to cheat, to lie and to compromise because I am homeless and may be hungry. To have true integrity, I must be able to cut through the grey, murky areas of relative morality and see the black and white of what is truly right and wrong. I must not fear being accused of thinking that I am better than others or of being self righteous, because someone became offended by my determination to walk and live my life with integrity.

I believe that one day someone will ask me; what can be done to fight homelessness in America? I will tell them and they will believe me. Not because I am able to speak with so great eloquence that none can resist my banter. Not because I command so great charisma that none can resist my presence. No, they will believe me because despite the years of unemployment I have gone through, despite the hunger I have suffered and the homelessness I have endured; I have given myself the greatest gift I can give myself. The ability to look in the mirror and see staring back at me a man I can respect. A man I can trust. Those that ask me how to help the poor and homeless will believe me because even though I have suffered all of these things:

My Integrity Stands