A person’s integrity is measured, by definition, through their honesty and their ability to maintain their moral beliefs. These beliefs can range from the higher tier religious beliefs to a person’s stance on gun control to whether or not they think it’s rude to spit on the sidewalk. Keeping one’s integrity intact is, I believe, crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a strong individuality.

Before anything else, observe the personality, conceptually. Personality dictates unique or rare qualities pertaining to an individual. In some cases, even common personality traits made abnormally noticeable can shape the way a person is perceived. Largely, the importance of personality, and ultimately integrity, is derived from the way a person is perceived.

Assuming a personality means that the person in question is unique and does things indicative of said personality. Obviously. As such, the outward personality traits are viewed and understood by that person’s peers, either positively or negatively. A person is what they believe and what they do because of those beliefs. The foundation of self-understanding and self-worth rely on those factors that make oneself special on a micro scale. So, of course, the way in which someone maintains his or her beliefs also demonstrates a personality trait. Generally speaking, the stronger one holds to their morals, the more positively they are perceived in maintaining who they are. After all, if a person gives up on their beliefs, they are fundamentally giving up on who they are and what made them who they are.

Circumstances are known to arise that challenge a person’s integrity. For example, a writer for a newspaper may be asked to write a personal column instead of the news story they had wanted. Theoretically, the news is the reason this writer got into the job, and refusing the request results in termination. Hypothetically. Does the writer submit and write a personal column, or do they insist on writing about the news and gamble with their livelihood?

The result of that writer’s decision determines whether or not they value their job or their passion more. To some, the respectable decision is to keep to a passion and blossom as a person. For others, giving up on a job because you couldn’t do what you wanted to is idiotic. In short, it is a matter of perspective.

However, such challenges do, in fact, test integrity. Should the aforementioned writer submit to the job they were told to do, they sacrifice a level of integrity, and you can measure how reasonable the loss is by figuring out if the positive effect of keeping their job outweighs the loss of integrity.

Keep in mind the core of integrity: personality. Lack of integrity can come across like a lack of person. Maybe someone considered a “sell-out” lacks a little bit of life. Maybe they seem empty. Perhaps giving up on your beliefs in order to accomplish a greater goal is damaging to the soul. In my opinion, it is better to maintain one’s integrity, belief, persona, et cetera, than it is to seek some kind of end game. When the day is done and your decisions have been made, do you feel whole? Are you proud of who you are? Are you content with the things you’ve done and the reasons you had to do them?