The virtue words don’t seem to be used in our conversations much today. In fact, use of the word virtue itself is quite uncommon. I come across those virtue words such as loyalty, bravery, honesty, diligence, patience, humility, temperance, and integrity most often in social media memes. It is far too simple to pass along a meme and feel a contribution has been made to the betterment of society.
In a culture that encourages acting according to our own truth, following our own path, and doing what feels right to us, is there still a place for the virtues? Actions that would result from applying one of the virtues usually involve our interactions with others and in many cases require putting another’s needs above our own.
The word integrity has some interesting linguistic relatives: entire, integer, integral, integrate. Each conveys the idea of wholeness and completeness or of being necessary to the whole or of a process of bringing parts together to make a whole. I suggest that being a person of integrity means it is essential for us to learn to put into practice all the virtues so that our lives are whole and complete.
In making this statement, I do not wish to make anyone feel overwhelmed or disheartened. We are all well aware of areas of weakness in our lives. The weaknesses result in feelings of imbalance and incompleteness, of not feeling good enough or whole. Our Big Ocean Woman tenet states, “We recognize and follow our intuitive internal compass. . .” I believe our intuitive internal compass will tell each one of us when we may need to pay more attention to applying a specific virtue. In seeking to improve in our application of that virtue, we will feel more whole and complete.
One of the dictionary definitions of integrity is a state of being unimpaired. How often as a woman I have felt inadequate and lacking! In those moments my personal tendency is to withdraw into myself. I certainly feel impaired. The very answer to those feelings is to examine myself and to find what I am doing or neglecting to do that is keeping me from being sound and whole. When I consciously work to become more proficient in the application of each virtue I identify as needed in my life, I come closer to being the woman of integrity I aspire to be.
Probity means complete and confirmed integrity. Best wishes on your journey to become a woman of probity as you listen to and act on your intuitive internal compass.