Integrity means a kind of oneness or wholeness, as when our thoughts, words actions, and deeds match a sense of who we are.  Integrity is often used to describe someone who is trustworthy and reliable, who acts out of their goodness, their ethical core. Integrity is related to individuality — that sense of our uniqueness and our ability to be ourselves and not just conform to expectations and social norms.

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Great learning and superior abilities … will be of little value and small estimation unless virtue, honor, truth, and integrity are added to them.

— Abigail Adams

I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside me.

— Abraham Lincoln

You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.

— Alan Alda

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.

— Albert Camus

Don’t believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.

— Albert Camus

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.

— Albert Einstein

The crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

— Albert Einstein

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.

— Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic

There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.

— Aldous Huxley

Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.

— Allen Ginsberg

All intimacy is rare — that’s what makes it precious. And it involves the revelation of one’s self and the loving gaze upon another’s true self (no makeup, no fancy car, no defensive charm, no seduction) — that’s what makes it so damn hard. Intimacy requires honesty and kindness in almost equal measure (a little more kindness, I think), trust and trustworthiness, forgiveness and the capacity to be forgiven . . . It’s more than worth it — just don’t let them tell you it’s bliss.

— Amy Bloom

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.

— Andre Berthiaume

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.

— Andre Gide

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

— Anna Quindlen

Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.

— Anne Lamott

I think the healthy way to live is to make friends with the beast inside oneself, and that means not the beast but the shadow. The dark side of one’s nature. Have fun with it and you know, is to accept everything about ourselves.

— Anthony Hopkins

I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal, and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood

— Audre Lorde

Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat.

— Audre Lorde

A single lie destroys a whole reputation for integrity.

— Baltasar Gracian

Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.

— Barbara De Angelis

The proof that one truly believes is in action.

— Bayard Rustin

If principle is good for anything, it is worth living up to.

— Benjamin Franklin

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.

— Bernice Johnson Reagon

The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don’t have to gain, develop, or attain them. We’re like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight. We don’t need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we really are — as soon as we quit pretending we’re small or unholy.

— Bo Lozoff

The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.

— Bob Marley

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

— C. S. Lewis

Become who you are. Become all that you are. There is still more of you — more to be discovered, forgiven, and loved.

— Carl Jung

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

— Carl Rogers

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.

— Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.

— Catherine of Siena

If you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like you. It may not be easy, but it’s essential if you want your life to reflect your deepest desires, values, and needs.

— Cheryl Richardson

One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.

— Chinua Achebe

I am most proud of my integrity and least proud of my cynicism.

— Chloe Sevigny

We all find ourselves bouncing around three very human lies that we believe about our identity: I am what I have, I am what I do, and I am what other people say or think about me.

— Christopher L. Heuertz

If you cannot be faithful to your own individuality, then you cannot be loyal to anything.

— Claude McKay, language updated

Too often, we idolize a ‘middle’ stance as more rational, more fair, more loving. We wear it as its own kind of moral superiority. But virtue is not synonymous with neutrality. Sometimes integrity demands a choice.

— Cole Arthur Riley

If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear.

— Confucius

Just be what you are. And I try to be my best self and be what I am and knowing what I am and be satisfied with that. And if people don’t know it, maybe they’ll eventually know it.

— Coretta Scott King

When the heart is right, the mind and the body will follow.

— Coretta Scott King

At every moment you choose yourself. But do you choose *your* self? Body and soul contain a thousand possibilities out of which you can build many I’s. But in one of them is there a congruence of the elector and the elected. Only one–which you will never find until you have excluded all those superficial and fleeting possibilities of being and doing with which you toy, out of curiosity or wonder or greed, and which hinder you from casting anchor in the experience of the mystery of life, and the consciousness of the talent entrusted to you which is your *I*.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

The more faithfully you listen to the voices within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

Never, ‘for the sake of peace and quiet,’ deny your own experience or convictions.

— Dag Hammarskjold

Our self-respect tracks our choices. Every time we act in harmony with our authentic self and our heart, we earn our respect. It is that simple. Every choice matters.

— Dan Coppersmith

Integrity is keeping a commitment even after circumstances have changed.

— David Jeremiah

To explore what it would mean to live fully, sensually alive and passionately on purpose, I have to drop my preconceived ideas of who and what I am.

— Dawna Markova

A life lived with integrity — even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come

— Denis Waitley

It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.

— Donald Woods Winnicott

In youth, it was a way I had,
To do my best to please.
And change, with every passing lad
To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do,
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you.

— Dorothy Parker

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.

— Douglas MacArthur

In the end, trying to be perfect is the unconscious social effort to please ourselves by pleasing these others.

— Duke Robinson, Too Nice for Your Own Good
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