Wednesday, April 08, 2009


The word integrity is related to the roots of words like “integrate” and “entire.” In Spanish it is rendered “integro,” meaning whole. Integrity thus implies the state of being complete, undivided, intact, and unbroken. Such a state contrasts with one that is scattered, fragmented, and incomplete. In writing this article, I was struck by the way in which integrity pulls together so many of the other things we have discussed on the Art of Manliness. Integrity is really the bond that holds a man’s other virtues together; it is the mark of a man who has successfully integrated all good principles. His life is a unified whole.

The Art of Manliness is a fantastic site...if only all men subscribed to it...

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It’s Easier

It may not seem like it at first blush, but living with integrity is easier than living a deceitful life. While making unethical decisions is often easier in the short term, it eventually takes its toll. There’s no real happiness to be found in struggling to remember your lies, living in fear of getting caught, and not feeling like you truly earned your reward. It’s empty and stressful. Bernie Madoff may have lived high on the hog, but did he really enjoy his wealth knowing that one day his house of cards would collapse? Living with integrity brings wholeness and peace. Your conscience can rest easy, and you can look at yourself in the mirror with pride.