Integrity: Keeping To Your Word

Food For Thought - Integrity - Dictionary

We live in a world where people make or break their words easily. It is still debated whether we lie naturally; that it is in our nature, an evolutionary trait; or that it is our nurture, something that our upbringing and surrounding has caused. Either way, I think that it is important for people to have integrity, to keep to their word. Without integrity you would never be able to lead a good life, and fear the risk of others not holding onto their integrity in return.

We each come into this world with empty hands, not bringing with us anything but an empty slate. As we go through life, things change, we change. We develop our intelligence, emotional capacity, and all sorts of social tools necessary for personal success. We all start to pack an emotional baggage as we go through the journey that is life. This is where we can flourish or falter, where life presents to us opportunities to either be honest and hold to our integrity, or deceitful, and cover up our wrongdoings. It is, however, understandable, why people do the things they do, although necessarily justifiable.

There are two types of lies people tell. The first is easy to discern, where people do it for personal gain. The second however, is harder to distinguish, where a lie is told to get out of trouble. This second type causes a moral dilemma because, firstly, its not because they are a bad person, but, if it is done at the expense of others, it becomes unjust. We should not sacrifice someone else’s wellbeing at our own expense. They have come into this trusting us, therefore we shouldn’t take advantage of their kindness.

It is common for people to develop bad habits, usually without the intention to harm. This, however, can be at the expense of those around us. This is why it is essential to have integrity. Integrity is a moralistic code that forms the pillars of who we are. It is the cement and foundation to our being. Integrity, to mean what we say, to keep promises even under hardship, to never say one thing and to do another. It takes a lot to have integrity, it takes sacrifice, it takes delayed gratification, it takes thinking about the others, it takes thinking about the rest of the world, it takes thinking about the greater good.

Yes, the road to holding onto integrity is a hard and arduous one, but it brings forth great benefits. When you are faced with someone who has integrity you are more likely to trust them, and they are more likely to trust you. They will vouch for your good character, and are very likely to trust you. This, on a whole, really just makes the world a much more pleasant place to live for everyone. This is why it is important to hold on to our words.

Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic, travelogue and opinion columnist which is curated on Food For Thought. He has been a freelance writer for 10 years and has previously worked as a lawyer. He currently is the Principal Counsultant of A Thoughtfull Consultancy.


  1. I have to admit I am sometimes guilty of the second one as well…. but I try not to involve anyone if I can… it is bad involving people and causing people more problems when we do such things

    • The thing about the human mind is sometimes we can’t help feeling and doing the things we do, especially when we don’t understand why we keep repeating the same things over and over again. We can’t help it. That’s why we should only give our word when we intend to honour it, at least we aren’t lying when we can’t make those promises.

  2. When we get in a situation where promises are broken and words not kept, it’s very difficult to trust that person. What we may gain in the short term is at the detriment in the long run. Thanks for the post!

    • I completely agree with you. Short term satisfaction over long term suffering. Many of us make the same repeated mistakes over and over again. This is why it’s important that we don’t deceive others, and ourselves.

  3. I was brought up in a family where integrity is an important value. If only we had leaders who are taught about its importance

    • I think the world over needs good governance, especially when it’s so easy to commit crimes. We should always be responsible for our actions.

  4. Agree 101% with you that integrity is an important value for us to keep in our life πŸ™‚

  5. Good read for the day before start work tomorrow! I feel working is quite to be integrity too. It depends on how bad was the situation and if you wanted to keep your word for your own good or for your team.

    • Integrity comes into all walks of our life. If we practice it from young and from everything we do, we will never need to feel bad or unnecessarily hurt others.

  6. A post that leads me to deep thought. Keep our own words is important. But, I admit, people still break promise sometimes.

    • Breaking promises is the most common thing that we do, most of the time not because we want to, but because we have to. That’s why we need a good moral compass to better understand that our actions have repercussions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *