Integrity and Honesty
After reading Carter’s article on integrity I found the man made much sense. I never really thought about what honesty and integrity were when compared to each other, although they do seem to go hand in hand…or so I always thought.
Honesty requires one not to lie or by definition “any intentionally deceptive message which is stated” (Carter, The insufficiency of honesty). I guess I had always believed that if you were honest you also had integrity. However, that is just not the case. According to Carter, integrity requires three things: discerning what is right and wrong; acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost; saying openly you are acting on your understanding of what is right and wrong. Honesty doesn’t require these things. You could be as honest as you would like and still not understand that what you are saying is wrong, morally, ethically or otherwise. With that being said, I do agree with what Carter wrote throughout the article. I have known many people who claim they are honest, but that doesn’t mean they are true of heart, mind, and soul. Sometimes pure honesty, or being brutally honest, lacks integrity entirely. A person could tell someone something that they believe to be true and right, however this something could also make someone feel a certain way, badly. It is wrong for someone to be so honest it is at the expense of others.
When someone says to me “I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I have to be honest” I usually assume that the worst is coming. They have already put a disclaimer out there stating that they don’t want to hurt you but are going to anyways. In my opinion this person is not discerning what is right and wrong, certainly not acting on it, and probably can’t