Typically, integrity is perceived as it relates to the external world such as integrity in relationships, integrity in business, or integrity in financial decisions – as examples. There is much said on the subject today as the country, as a whole, evaluates and debates ethical behavior. Many have said that Kenneth Lay and others lacked integrity because of their participation in, what most would call unethical decisions. Yet, people who knew Kenneth Lay believed him to be a man of high standards.

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How did he get involved in business issues that lacked integrity or ethics? Many have said that he and many others never intended to do wrong. What happened? They were lead by their ego rather than by their authentic self?

Self integrity is truly the foundation of ethical behavior. Wikipedia defines integrity as “the basing of one’s actions on a consistent framework of principles and adherence of each level to the next are key determining factors. One is said to have integrity to the extent that everything he/she does and believes is based on the same set of values”. Self-integrity is being what Socrates stated “to thine own self be true.”

We are all born with a pure essential nature, and self-integrity exists by being true to that nature – our authentic self. It is through awareness and knowledge of your authentic self – that self-integrity, which is the foundation of ethical behavior, is created. When you have that authentic awareness, you then can have self integrity as well as integrity with other people and situations. When our ego can be set aside, our lives can be truly open. How we live and what we say in private is no different from how we live in public. There is congruency.

By Haadi