Sunday, August 29, 2010


All my life I have been very sensitive of the concept of fairness. I think I have stated before in my posts on anger that I have a very revengeful nature. Certainly if I am wronged or treated unjustly I have a hard time dealing with my anger for that person. I will remember a wrong for years. I will cut out any person who has wronged me; I will ignore them from that time onwards. (I have a long way to go on the spiritual path of forgiveness).
However, if I have deserved a criticism, if I have acted badly, if I have wronged first, that is an entirely different matter. I may grumble, mostly in anger at myself, but I am not infused with the same anger or revenge for that person. Fair is fair.
People who lie, who bear false witness, are the lowest of the low in my eyes. I can’t abide dishonesty and falsehood. Some of you reading this who know me may know what (and who) I am talking about. Anyway, this weekend I had occasion to think about integrity and the malice of those who don’t have any. I looked up some quotes. The following ones are most in tune with my own thoughts at this moment. I will no doubt write more about integrity or the lack thereof in the future. I think it is an important subject.

O, what a tangled web we weave; When first we practice to deceive!  Sir Walter Scott

He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions. Thomas Jefferson

There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious. Francis Bacon

If you have integrity, nothing else matters.  If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.  Alan Simpson

He who indulges in falsehood will find the paths of paradise shut to him. Abu Bakir

It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance. Thomas Paine

If a man does not resent slight injustices, he will soon be called upon to face giant wrongs. Taoist tradition

'Tis better to suffer wrong than do it.  Thomas Fuller

Take care that no one hates you justly.  Publilius Syrus

If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustice of our fellows.  Jean-Baptiste Molière

Update: if we believe the author of this quote, then it would seem God agrees with me:

All malice has injustice at it`s end, an end achieved by violence or by fraud; while both are sins that earn the hate of heaven, since fraud belongs exclusively to man, God hates it more and, therefore, far below, the fraudulent are placed and suffer most. Dante Alighieri


Stacy said...

I agree, integrity is vital to respectablity, and self respect. I don't blame you for being angered by wrongs done. I believe there is a time for anger. And I believe there is a time to let go of anger.
I've come to accept that we don't live in a "just world". And many people don't care that much about integrity.
People do unkind unjust things to one another. And I'm not suggesting we should just close a blind eye, but it helps me to realize that they are acting as imperfect wounded humans. Maybe it's not the best they could could but how do we really know the extent of their ablities.
I think we're often further enraged by the success people have with their selling of their souls. That is truely irrititing. But remember they're paying a higher price.
Ultimately, anger damages the angry more than those who caused the anger. And forgiveness is done more for the forgiver than the forgiven. What side of that do you want to be on?

Al Watts said...

I appreciate your comments connecting integrity with healing; after 30 years as a consultant to leaders and their organizations I am convinced that integrity rightly understood is the foundation of sustainable success.I think you would enjoy my new book: "Navigating Integrity - Transforming Business As Usual Into Business At Its Best," available in October. Go to for more information, where you can also find hundreds of additional quotations on "integrity" in "Resources."

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond