In any situation of life, our integrity shall never be broken. Because when we are at our darkest periods, we are often tempted to compromise our integrity – to compromise who we are, what we believe in, and what we know to be true and right about ourselves. Our weaknesses and heartlessness exist, and we take advantage of them by exploiting them to our own benefit. Our own dreams are tempting, and we are tempted to be cruel, cheat, or run away from them. Sadly, we often follow those temptations.
Whenever it matters most, our moral convictions are forgotten and we abandon what is essential when it really matters. Often, we do not follow through on our promises, whether it is a promise we made to our children or to our team. When we are at our most vulnerable, we are filled with anger toward those we love.
Our lies to those we care about are despite the fact that we know they desperately want the truth to be told to them. When we stumble, fall, and make a mess of ourselves, we let disappointment win the day and hastily quit on our dreams. By hiding our true selves at the expense of authenticity and growth, we withhold our voices when we have the opportunity to shine. Our indifference or cowardice comes at a time when the world needs us to show strength and presence.
These are moments when our minds and spirits suddenly fail to work together when we lack virtue when we descend into self-centeredness and irresponsibility. It might not always be so dramatic. Our character compromises are not always centered on huge and troublesome life decisions, as the movies often portray. As if a grand existential dilemma is unfolding all around us, we don’t tear out our hair in desperation. In a public square, you won’t find dramatic debates or heated conflicts that will leave you on the ground. Our integrity is usually broken on a small scale, so we don’t notice it.
Our attention is often occupied by other things when they arrive. Our rudeness went unnoticed. In our minds, acting differently than we would have been, telling little lies, being easily angered, keeping our ideas to ourselves, gossiping, delaying, ridiculing, being late, and forgetting the thank-you’s and the I-love-you’s was a habit. As a result of little throwaway acts that we didn’t realize were solidifying into a character that was beneath us, we lost touch with who we are and what we want others to think of us. The time has come to remind ourselves that today’s thoughts and actions will have a lasting impact on tomorrow.
Whenever we forget this and think that our actions do not matter, we are permitted to act as momentary buffoons. We allowed ourselves to stray from our values just this once. This is the only time we cheat. This is the only time we lie. The hard task was put off just this once. It’s just this week that we don’t work out. Let’s take another drink. We soon find that each little breach of our will leads to another, and then to a lifetime of compromise and regret. The human spirit can be whittled away without vigilance and forever broken if we are not vigilant.
Whether our actions are upright or crooked is a matter of how they are combined piece by piece. We should strive to be our highest selves, maintain our character and values, and respond to every situation with solid integrity and generous humanity. We will not be weak and heartless when the next temptation comes – and it will. When we are congruent with our divine nature, there is instead a strong, grounded refusal to break a decision not to compromise or lower ourselves, a grand ascent to another level of human character.
In order to achieve personal freedom and the hope of mankind, we must commit to staying true to ourselves, our dreams, our words, and our goodness. As long as we remain steadfast to our values, we become unbreakable: solid, stable, courageous, and certain. Our lives should be filled with pride. Let us declare: Integrity Shall Never Be Broken. Be strong and wait for the right time. Things will automatically be better.