What does it mean to be a person of integrity?
Many people think that a person of integrity is one who is honest and truthful, doesn’t steal, cheat or lie. But this is not the real definition of integrity. Integrity means whole.
I recently saw a quote to the effect that the person’s words, actions, thoughts, were consistent. I agree with this definition. Sometimes I find a person of integrity to be a jerk, but that’s simply my opinion of the person, which I arrived at using my own moral and ethical standards.
I was having a discussion with someone and said that by this definition, Donald Trump is a man of integrity. He is who he is. He is not deep or thoughtful, but according to New Yorker staff writer David Owen, who was speaking with Terry Gross on the NPR program Fresh Air, on April 13 (the anniversary of the Titanic disaster), Trump behaved the same way when Owen met him for an interview for Golf Digest, as he behaves now, as president. Terry Gross asked:
How did the man that you golfed with compare with the president you’re watching on TV?
And Owen answered “Very much the same.” You can find the exchange in the transcript of the interview, about half way down, at the link above.
I don’t know if Owen is right, but at least he has spent time with the President. I have not. So I have to leave the possibility open that Trump is who he says he is. That is what a lot of people who voted for him said they wanted.
That does not mean I like his value system. In the end, most of us feel friendlier toward people with whom we share the top levels of our value hierarchies.