August 28, 2018


They say integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching, even when it may work to your disadvantage, and this obviously because wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it, and right is right, even if no one is doing it. This simply means that integrity—besides being the moral excellence that the modern world most needs—is a very difficult virtue to practice. It has way more false fans than true ones, and more true enemies than real friends. Personal integrity requires that the person invariably act in accordance with his values. Of course, this is clearly an ideal standard rather than an achievable state. Sometimes having personal integrity means you will taste failure temporarily. As Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” In other words, integrity is a continuous challenge and a never-ending struggle against ourselves and the world around us.

Actually, as Job rhetorically once asked (Job 7:1), Nonne militia est vita hominis super terram? (“Isn’t man’s life upon the earth a military campaign?”). Or, as Seneca put it (Epistle 96 to Lucilius), Vivere militare est (“To live is to fight”). Maybe, in a time when peace is often confused with passivity—and war is almost always associated only and exclusively with death, terror, cruelty, and destruction—I guess we’d better rethink this whole matter and to rediscover the positive aspects of the concepts of fight, struggle and war. After all, there are unjust wars, but also just wars, there are bad fights and good fights… Let’s not forget Paul’s words (2 Timothy 4:6-8):
For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.

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