I think the best explanation of integrity I've seen was in a Christopher Stasheff novel. I think it was Matt in the first novel in that series in which he goes to another universe similar to our own with alternate-history differences and working magic. He was puzzling out what it meant by looking at the word's roots and alternative meanings. Something like "whole" or "consistent in morality." So the opposite of a person of integrity would be a hypocrite. So to me it means living out your principles and being honest with yourself and checking for inconsistencies in your ethical code frequently. It might be possible, under that definition, for someone to be Evil (with a capital E!) and still have integrity, if her ethics were internally consistent and she kept to them. I thought and thought and thought about my answer to the question "what trait would you most want your kids to have, if you had any?" or "what trait do you most want your kids to have?", and my answer ended up being integrity. Because although it's theoretically possible for someone bad to have integrity, it's much more possible for someone with good principles to never act on them, or to hold them for the wrong reasons, or to violate them constantly. Besides, when evil shows itself as evil, isn't it that much easier to combat than evil disguised as good? (Not that I'm really much into the evil-good dichotomy, but I really can't think of any other descriptors for certain types of actions.) Good people can fight against evil when they know what it is, eliminating Step 1: Recognize Evil from the battle plan entirely. --- Because all the other contestants were idiots/because she was really really pretty/because the interview doesn't count for much/because it was clear it was a lack in her vocabulary and the judges decided to give her some slack?
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