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Integrity: one of the most important words to teach our children.

Updated: Jul 1

Noah Webster, of Websters dictionaries, defined integrity back in 1828 in his American Dictionary of the English Language as follows:

“Integrity comes from integer, which is itself defined as “The whole of any thing.”

“Wholeness; entireness; unbroken state” … “The entire, unimpaired state of anything, particularly of the mind, moral soundness or purity; incorruptness, uprightness; honesty.”

The concept has lost considerable luster over the years when one considers corruption weaving our culture today where men in power abuse it to kill innocent children and civilians and hide behind religious ideology and pretense to do so; where corporate and financial greed and dishonesty dictate the quality of our lives; and where insane and narcissistic men can be voted into power and disrupt the very democracy and freedom that generations of our forefathers fought to give us.

If we analyze the word integrity, wouldn’t we come to the following semantical interpretations?

  1. Integrity means doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.

  2. Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one else is.

  3. Integrity is doing the right thing because it resonates from within us and not because of rules, moral codes, laws, or even collective acceptability.

  4. Integrity is doing the right thing even if it causes pain, loss or grievance to yourself or another.

Considering that the word integrity embraces the essence of who we really all are deep inside, that is, whole and perfect, not broken or born evil or corrupt as some would have us believe, it is a word that should be taught and embraced by new generations who will continue to build and develop society - and if they understand the importance of this word, they will, hopefully, be able to make an even better world, one where transparency dominates and where corruption simple cannot hide its ugly face.

Réal Laplaine

Author of high-concept thrillers

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