Thoughts of Value

Integrity can involve choices which alter our entire lives.

A discussion about integrity frequently includes a few words regarding being right or wrong. Last week’s article triggered comments from some who lost lifelong friendships over having their personal integrity questioned. When these situations occur, it can be a difficult time for either person, wondering if someone whom you’ve cherished for years may now only exist in your memories.

Rarely is it something we plan for or even expect. Nonetheless, maintaining one’s integrity may compel us to make these kinds of difficult choices.

There are countless reasons why friendships end in this way but the question we should ask ourselves is: “What were my intentions”? Was I flaunting my moral proclivity while criticizing my friend’s (or the other way around)? Did I ridicule the other person and listen only to find the absurdity in his or her argument? Often one or both sides feel their opinion only is right and any consideration of opposing ideas is a complete waste of time. This is a recipe for disaster and nothing can be done to remedy the situation or the relationship.

It’s ironic that the consideration of right versus wrong is the divisive factor in terminating any friendship. But determining what is right and what is wrong is not as black and white as we think it ought to be. The world would definitely be a much less complicated place if there were a list we could refer to when confronted with difficult choices. Yes, it would be less complicated but also a lot more restrictive as well.

Our diversity and differences enhance the unexpected episodes in life and while some are frustrating, many can be seen as opportunities for growth and development. Growth is constantly happening around us and we can do our best to influence that growth to our advancement or let life happen and thus dictate it for us.

Continually scrutinizing our own integrity is the best way to preserve and magnify it. Pointing out where it lacks in others may indicate a weakness or be a sign of doubt about our own. While it may compel us to do what we believe is right, it does not demand that we compel everyone else to do the same.

Integrity is not an easy subject to corral since so many of us have different values. While there are some basic principles upon which we can all agree, certain topics, and especially those of a political or religious nature, have totally opposite opinions; even though both sides use the exact same texts to rationalize and state arguments with entirely contrary outcomes.

But one thing which is hard to argue is how much does our integrity negatively impact the lives of others. It is never an excuse to dupe someone for your benefit nor to usurp control over them. More importantly, it’s something that needs more proof than someone simply declaring you possess it.

Integrity complements other principles like honesty, sincerity, and compassion. I believe that these values all help raise a person’s awareness which ultimately motivates one to become mindful of the world around us. It compels us to encourage these traits in others and inspire them to do the same. For this reason alone, it behooves us all to continually examine our own ideals and principles to make the world a better place now and for the future.

John Dunia
John Dunia
John has a passion; and that is helping others heal from past difficulties and abuses. Healing became important when he realized how much it freed him from his own past and now works to help others experience that liberation. The key to his success was discovering that the most debilitating damage was his own shame and the destructive things he believed about who he was. Throughout his own healing journey, he became hyper-aware of how shame was affecting him while having little clue of its presence. Others noticed these changes and reached out to him for help. His methods were so effective that he made it a mission to shift his career into helping others. Adopting the term “ShameDoctor”, he continues to teach others to empower themselves through his remarkably effective techniques. “Shame is one of the biggest yet least talked about issues we face as individuals and society yet so very little is mentioned about it.” It is his purpose to change the way the world perceives shame and promote helpful and viable techniques to heal and overcome those past struggles. John’s book, “Shame On Me – Healing a Life of Shame-Based thinking” was self-published in 2016. In addition to working with clients, John also writes healing and insightful articles each week. He is also looking forward to speaking on the topics of shame and healing throughout the globe.


  1. Integrity is essential for our reliability or credibility. It influences us in a personal, professional, social and spiritual way. It has to do with the essence of who we are. It defines our character. Our behavior is the result of our choices. When we make choices based on our moral values, instead of what suits us, we demonstrate integrity. To have it we must discipline ourselves to make decisions based on what is right, not on what is more convenient or offers us more benefits at the moment. It means fixing our moral compass in the right direction, and then committing ourselves to follow those indications, whatever circumstance occurs.
    Living with integrity means living our values even if it hurts. And there will be times when it will hurt.

  2. Thanks for sharing this John. Most of us value friendships with those who we can discuss all the stuff of life – yes, even politics and religion….hold differing views and be okay with that – knowing the relationship will withstand our differences. The foundation of my beliefs stem from my Christian faith, which informs me that I am to be salt (a preserving influence) and light in a sometimes very dark world. Integrity is key – living life before others that reinforces my Biblically held beliefs, walking my talk. Being an imperfect person, but (hopefully) handling the challenges and disappointments and pain – and joy and successes of life in a manner that honors the God I say I follow. I don’t do that very well by attacking someone else’s faith… the same time, my prayer for them is they will be attracted to mine. Potent stuff that you share!

    • Thank you Mike. And a very potent response from you.
      I wish every person with a religious perspective, could have approach to yours. Because I think religion (even more than politics) has been the largest reason for many of humanities most devastating situations. While it has been a pillar for many, it has also caused unimaginable suffering for countless others.

    • Perhaps. But this is even more reason for those holding on to integrity, to reach out to those who don’t agree and do their best to see how they can get along. I know it’s a rather lofty thought but it needs to start somewhere.

    • Consider why this happens, Jeff. Don’t most people, regardless of political affiliation, want basically the same thing? The difference is the road to get there. And that’s the divisive part. And usually, it’s about people thinking they are right or there’s ONLY one solution.
      I don’t have a problem listening to someone with a differing view and I only hope they provide me the same regard.

      • If by “same thing” you mean personal safety, financial security, good health, yes, I guess there is a foundational measure of people wanting the “same thing” at some level. But how they define those things can be vastly different. What seems to be missing this days is the willingness to engage in meaningful dialogue – and that starts with our representatives in government – tolerance for different viewpoints or lifestyles, and any thought of compromise on issues that affect the common good. We have become a winner-take-all society. I can’t win unless you lose.



🔀 SALON 360° 🔀 "Where Shift Happens"

It's time for more walkin'/less talkin'. It's time to change how we operate and how we cooperate. It's time for "shift" to happen.

Must Read