Integrity is more than a virtue—it’s a way of life. You can reap great rewards as you stick to your principles, even when it seems unpopular or inconvenient.
“Honesty is the best policy,” people sometimes say. A sense of honesty and integrity is certainly admirable, but why do so many of us struggle with it? In his November 2014 essay entitled “Why the Lack of Integrity Burdens Society,” Brigham Young University professor W. Steve Albrecht discusses the necessity of integrity and its role (or lack thereof) in society today.
Integrity is more than “being true to what you believe;” it is “believing and doing what is true,” Albrecht says. It encompasses the social, emotional, financial, spiritual, and physical—in short, all aspects of our lives.
The founders of RC Willey, a furniture company found throughout the western United States, demonstrated unfailing devotion to their principles. A warranty company declared bankruptcy shortly after RC Willey had paid a large sum of money for its services, but RC Willey backed all of the warranties—even though RC Willey was under no legal obligation to do so. In spite of the economic inconvenience, RC Willey continued to thrive. The history of the company becomes an inspiring story when one discovers the great sacrifices (but even greater blessings) that accompany the decision to practice integrity.
The account from RC Willey’s past makes it clear: learning integrity is vital to our homelife and any business we may be a part of. Integrity improves unity and can even reap economic benefits. Though dishonesty may be tempting in the moment, Albrecht reminds us that such shortcuts ultimately spell trouble down the road. The influence of integrity is profound, and the blessings are immense. But the choice is yours: “Integrity cannot be forced; it must be self-absorbed.”
Source: BYU Wheatley Institution
FEATURE IMAGE BY ANJA OSENBERG
—Margaret Wilden Mormon Insights Contributor