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My Opinion of What is Personal Integrity

Updated on January 6, 2014

What's your moral compass looking like?

If you are given back to much change at the end of a cash transaction do you...

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From the 1996 film starring Tom Cruise, Kelly Preston and Cuba Gooding, Jr.  Cuba Gooding won best supporting actor for his role as Todd Tidwell.
From the 1996 film starring Tom Cruise, Kelly Preston and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Cuba Gooding won best supporting actor for his role as Todd Tidwell.

Personal Integrity

Personal Definition of Integrity:

When in action, are you true to yourself? Let personal integrity be your guide. It is the foundation laid by a humans supposed standards at the beginning. At the end of the day, it is the simple truth of what one makes of it. It is a human being's moral compass. That is what personal integrity means to me.

It's meaning involves a rapture of different personal variances and meanings. Personal integrity is an unknown element to the world of science or any field of study, where a conceptual understanding of human beings can be gathered. For one thing is certain, everything fringes upon the accord, thereof, of these people's own personal integrity. Seeing how they're the persons gathering information, and inputting the data entries. After all there really couldn't be a governing body between what is right and what is wrong; and humans, as we all know are severely flawed.

Suppose then the question(s);

  1. Is personal integrity a basic human instinct, or is something that is taught by parents, neighbors, teachers or others?
  2. Is it something that can be learned through observation or discipline?
  3. What if you were born without it?

When it comes to understanding the foundations of integrity, and so finding examples of it, I look no further than the motion picture, Jerry McGuire. In this movie Jerry McGuire is a Sports Agent. He loses his high end job as an Agent to elite athletes, due to a "Mission Statement" or memo. In the movie, he writes the mission statement as a prequel to change. Jerry felt it was wrong to talk his clients into doing something that was life threatening in order for him and his company to make money. He finally grew a conscious, and this new found consciousness would no longer allow it. After the neatly banded mission statement was sent to all employees of the firm he worked with, he was fired by a friend.

In order to prove himself, he opens up his own agency based off personal attention and personal service. His company's niche, in the world of promoting elite athletes, is his own personal integrity, and family oriented values. At one point in the movie, Jerry is trying to sign a new an upcoming superstar from Texas. He flies to Texas and speaks to the boy's father. You get a sense in the movie that this father is a good guy; a man of his word with strong morals. Jerry asks him to sign a contract with him, and the father in a matter-fact tone, tells Jerry he's isn't much on signing contracts, but that his word is "stronger than oak."

In this statement, the father declares to Jerry McGuire that he has a strong, fierce moral fiber and his word, or essentially that his personal integrity, was as strong as an oak tree. The statement leads Jerry McGuire into believing this man's integrity is stronger than greed, indecision, carelessness and personal interpretations. In the end Jerry McGuire is standing alone, no superstar athlete to boost his profits, and a company in ruins. However, he does still have his own moral fibers intact. As in real life, everyday people are struck with dilemma's that may or may not "affect or attack" their conscience.

In the world of Warner Brothers' animations, personal integrity is defined as a character to the viewer. This character of integrity, often takes on the shape of a blue, colored angel or a red, colored devil. The angel sits on the right hand shoulder and the devil would be position to the left hand side. The characters are often portrayed in a moment where a philosophical judgment takes place. Bringing out the basis of devilish inclinations that would leave someone with a comprised and damaged integrity.

The misunderstood realms of integrity often get lost in translation when combining with religion. In Judaism- personal integrity seems to be more weighted and not so easily forgiven as that of Christianity. For forgiveness isn't an acute action, but a long determined process. Forgiveness comes on Judgment Day. That is when good and evil are separated and engulfed in battle. Jews believe it is then, when a person's integrity, is divided between rights and wrongs over that person's lifetime.

I don't know if integrity can be observed or taught through discipline. Each brings out the question, as too, "What is the moral compass of said adviser imposing the lesson?" To which I'll leave my stead and say that I'll save that for a later date. Personal integrity is the bread & butter of who and what you are. If you question your own moral compass. Ask yourself a all or one of these questions;

  • If you are handed to much change during a cash transaction, do you give it back?
  • If you have already made a promise to one, but got a better offer. Do you break your promise?
  • Do you take credit for other peoples work?

If you've answered "Yes" to two of the three questions or "NO" to the first question, you just might be a person with little integrity, and thus not trustworthy.

Literal Definition of Integrity:

Soundness. 2: adherence to a code of values. 3: COMPLETENESS.


Submit a Comment

  • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

    Dennis AuBuchon 

    5 years ago

    Great and fantastic hub. We have much in common. The points you made in this hub were on target. I have a strong sense of integrity and consider it the most important trait for any individual. I voted up, awesome, useful and interesting along with liking and tweeting. Great Job

  • toknowinfo profile image


    7 years ago

    Excellent topic and not spoken about enough. Business colleges now require an ethics course be taken before students graduate. It makes you wonder about society when things like integrity have to be taught instead of it being an integral part of a person's attitude and actions. Well done hub.

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Thats awesome. Thanks for being such a great fan of it.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    I read this few months ago, but i came back to reread it. I love it.

  • TheMMAZone profile image


    8 years ago from Kansas

    I like your poll. It would be interesting what people would do if they knew they wouldn't get caught if they took it

    Thanks great hub!

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Yes, you would think this to be true. However...

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Surely, without integrity - you are no-one?

  • bgamall profile image

    Gary Anderson 

    8 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

    People have to walk away from the ponzi housing scam. Banks knew these prices were not sustainable. And they sold crap mortgages to unsuspecting investors, school districts, and pension funds.

    This giant rip off by the international bankster cartel must be stopped. Time for a debt revolt, RK.

    Normally people should pay a fair interest rate, and always try to pay friends. But I don't feel sorry for these corporate scamsters. People have to protect themselves from the scam.

  • LeanMan profile image


    8 years ago from At the Gemba

    Nice explanation, integrity very important in business and personal life..

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    I tried my best to explain it in the most simplistic way. Glad I succeeded.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    You found the words to explain it well. Is it really integrity if it's express only when someone is watching? This was really valuable. Thanks for posting.

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA


  • lctodd1947 profile image


    8 years ago from USA

    This was an excellent hub. Thank you for sharing it with us. It is true that in today's world, sometimes a person has integrity only when someone is watching.

    Great hub!

  • nomoretrucks profile image


    8 years ago from scotland

    This hub really has made me get behind on my work today and was so worth it! You have a fantastisc grasp of human motivations. I lost just about everything a person possibly could have in 07 and on a long threadbare journey, the folk who gave me the most to survive the journey had the least. These people are my recent heroes and they did things of their own volition. The outer directed people like JMG'S previous character, I guess when confronted with our true self it can 'shock' us enough to change. You have written it clearly enough for all to understand. Iam a fan.

  • h.a.borcich profile image


    8 years ago


    I really like this hub.

    Integrity does matter. It s sad how quickly and cheaply people are willing to give it up, Holly

  • Rebecca E. profile image

    Rebecca E. 

    9 years ago from Canada

    well done, very informative and well written.

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Yeah, thanks for pointing that out.

  • oscillationatend profile image


    9 years ago from a recovering narcissist.

    I like your writing style.

    "If you are given back to much change"

    Just to let you know, in that's tee double o. Too much change. ;)

  • lxxy profile image


    9 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

    Well done! Tell k@ri her hublinking is working. ;)

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    I haven't seen much of Cuba lately. I like his work. Thanks for stopping back by!

    Hey Feline, I'll have to check that book out. Thanks.

    ontheway, I stopped by your hub, but there was no hubs to read. Sad. Thanks for commenting. I'll checking back with you later. Smile

  • Shalini Kagal profile image

    Shalini Kagal 

    9 years ago from India

    Oh yes RKH - Cuba Gooding Jr was really something!

  • ontheway profile image


    9 years ago

    What is Personal Integrity

    very good, I support you, come on , welcome to my hub!

  • profile image

    Feline Prophet 

    9 years ago

    It was a book called 'The Zoya Factor' by an Indian author - Anuja Chauhan - and about an Indian obsession - cricket! :)

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Hi there K@ri, Feline Prophet, and Shalini Kagal!  Thanks for dropping by.  K@ri, I highly recommend a Friday video night and renting Jerry McGuire the movie.  It's a great cast and movie.  Feline what book did you just finish?  Shalini- Tom Hanks would of worked well for that part too.  Really I can think of a lot of actors that could've done Tom's job.  Cuba won the Oscar though.  He was Awesome.

    "Show me the money.....  Show ME the money.......  Show me the MONEY!" 

    Thanks all for stopping by.  I appreciate it.

  • profile image

    Feline Prophet 

    9 years ago

    Ahh...especially the long haired Tom Hanks! :P

    Interesting hub RKH. I just finished reading a book where the heroine has to decide between amassing personal wealth and giving it up for the greater good, and I'm happy to say personal integrity won the day! :)

  • Shalini Kagal profile image

    Shalini Kagal 

    9 years ago from India

    Great hub RKHenry - I guess if we all grew up with personal integrity, there would be no need to have any kind of policing would there? Now that would be Utopia indeed!

    I loved the movie even though I thought someone like Tom Hanks would have been better in the role than Tom Cruise - that's just a personal preference :)

  • k@ri profile image

    Kari Poulsen 

    9 years ago from Ohio

    I've never seen Jerry McGuire, but it looks like my kind of movie. I agree integrity is a matter of choice and knowing what is important. Great Hub!

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Hey Herald Daily! Glad to read that you a true man of worth. Another virtue of integrity. Thanks for dropping by. I really appreciate it.

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Sem Pro it reads as if you knows this subjectline by heart. I would love to read a hub with your view points on the subject matter. Maybe you could answer the request too. Thanks for commenting and stopping by.

  • Herald Daily profile image

    Herald Daily 

    9 years ago from A Beach Online

    I voted in your poll at the top of this hub. It brought to mind all the times that I have returned too much change given. I've even returned to a store to have an ATM transaction fixed - they undercharged me $10. The devil on one shoulder was instructing me to kick myself, the angel on the other was reminding me of the times that my mother did the same thing and that it was right.

    I've never taken credit for the work of others, but have had others take credit for mine.

    Great topic and writing, RK.

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Hey Sophieqd, thanks for stopping by.

  • sophieqd profile image


    9 years ago

    What is Personal Integrity

    Great information. I'll have to put some of your suggestions into practice.

  • SEM Pro profile image

    SEM Pro 

    9 years ago from North America

    Very well written and considered RK - and perfect example with Jerry McGuire. I do believe it can be taught with discipline though but its not an easy path to follow. Sometimes our subconscious directions don't align with the conscious ones which can nullify our best intentions - thus the phrase "who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear a word you're saying". None-the-less, love your perspective comparing to religion, morality and who's judging - ourselves or an outside entity.

  • RKHenry profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Neighborhood museum in Somewhere, USA

    Hey aka-dj! Thanks for putting out such a FANTASTIC request out there. I enjoyed answering it. I agree that a majority still have this virtue. I'm not sure it is as strong as it once was in humans, but its there. Thanks for you comments. I am so glad you dropped by!

  • aka-dj profile image


    9 years ago from Australia

    Fabulous. Thanks. It is hard to describe, but you did a great job. I'd like to think that the majority of human beings still have this virtue. I believe you to be one of them. I doubt you would have written this if you weren't. :)


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