“Integrity: Honor. Being trustworthy to oneself and others; involving oath-keeping, honesty, fairness, respect, and self confidence.” – “Our Own Druidry” Dedicant Manual, page 82, ADF Publishing May 2009 edition.
Integrity is a foundation virtue that every person should have. It is like the mortar of a brick wall in which each virtue is a brick of that wall. Integrity enables a person to hold on to, exhibit, and be trusted with the other virtues.
As a unifying force, integrity is what we seek that enables others to trust that we will be true to the virtues. In the event of a failure to uphold a virtue for some reason, integrity takes us to a place of reflection, humility and acknowledgement. It prompts us to accept responsibility, correct the failing and continue in the virtue. It should prevent our failures from becoming character flaws as well as ensuring that our actions remain motivated for right reasons.
The word “integrity” is used to identify the firmness, strength, stability and ability to withstand pressure and challenge in buildings and structures.
Likewise, when one’s character is challenged, integrity determines how to meet the challenge and overcome it. It does not mean there will not be failures, but a strong integrity will hold firm and allow healing and reflection in the areas affected.Integrity is important in all aspects of life. We must be able to create confidence and trust in others that we will be able to fulfill the obligations of commitments, promises and ability to do right. It extends to personal relationships (lovers, family, friends), work relationships, interpersonal, and spiritual (the Kindred and within our grove/circles/covens etc).
Integrity today is sometimes difficult to find in others – a promise to do something, be somewhere, or follow through does not occur. Few examples of people exhibiting integrity is probably contributes most to a devalued community. Living on the Jersey shore, meeting bachelors and bachelorettes, or being a “cut throat” apprentice sadly seems to be the examples leading our children into the future.
Integrity used to be what defined a man or woman. It is the characteristic that preceded legal contracts when a person’s word was their bond. People bought groceries on their word of payment, made land deals on a handshake, exchanged goods and services on reputation.
It is one of the greatest gifts my late father instilled within me and a trait that I value highly in myself and others. As one of the nine virtues of nobility in the Ásatrú/Heathen practice, integrity would likely equate to the virtue of “honor”.
Honor - We must be true to what we are, and we insist on acting with nobility rather than baseness. Our standards must be banners held high in our hearts.
When working with the Kindred and being representatives of them, may it be a trait that we exhibit and encourage in others.