Integrity is one of many valuable assets needed to truly succeed on the battleground of life. A personal arsenal of intellect, passion, physical strength and material wealth mean nothing if a person lacks moral character. The best way to come to grips with the rampant immorality and lack of ethics in our world is to see life as warfare. Humans engage in economic warfare against each other because resources are scarce and capitalism is a competitive system. All is fair in love and war, right? Well, sacrificing personal integrity for personal gain makes you a loser in my book.
People find ways to enrich themselves because of a complete lack of integrity and a spinning moral compass. It’s not just shady business practices. Politicians, school/police/fire board officials are able to exploit their public office to secure connections and backroom deals. Hey, it’s vicious economic battle so why not utilize every weapon available? Because there is such a thing as the public trust, fiduciary duty and personal integrity. Corporate greed, tax, welfare and Medicaid fraud are now pandemic. The backdrop of America’s huge population of freeloaders, cheaters and crooks defines and delineates those of us who value honesty and integrity beyond money. But you still need money.
Integrity is a valuable asset not only because it can be exchanged for financial wealth (it should not be!) but more importantly because it’s worth more than money. It’s a personal asset that reinforces other individual assets like financial wealth, knowledge, physical health and a passion for something. Your War Chest has a strong layer of integrity on its floor, on which other assets are stacked. Integrity by itself has little value. Only when it’s combined with other valuable personal attributes and sufficient economic assets does it become a powerful treasure. Wealth without integrity is sad and immoral. Integrity without wealth is feckless and impotent.