In the About Us section, I included the following commentary: Integrity, to my mind, is about becoming a particular kind of person. It is about creating relationships, environments, habits, and thoughts patterns that foster right action–not laser-focusing on a single issue, bad habit, or vice. There may be struggle in the process, given our flaws as people and the fallible world we live in. However, the goal is to get to a place where we do (and desire) the right thing effortlessly, as a natural expression of who we are.
Integrity is a kind of “virtue,” and “virtue,” it follows, is hard work. For example, I have been trying to develop “virtue” in myself for years. I’ve written dozens of articles on the theme and had countless conversations with people. And yet I struggle with the topic every single day. My experience is not atypical. Making high-ethical decisions on a routine basis is hard work, given our flaws as people and the fallible world we live.
Virtue Signaling Defined
Oxford Languages defines “Virtue signaling” as follows:
The action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue.Oxford Languages
Getting outraged over the right things doesn’t make us “good.” That’s way too easy. What makes us “good” is how we treat the people around us. It’s a lot easier to like, share, and re-Tweet a post than it is to forgive an insult or overlook an offense. It’s a lot easier to hop in with a cancel culture moral mob than it is to show kindness when faced with hardship or negative emotion. It’s a lot easier to hold up signs and walk in a single file line than it is to valuate the needs of others on par with one’s own. It’s a lot easier to write an article about virtue signaling than it is to live a life of integrity (👀).
Getting outraged over the right things doesn’t make us “good.” That’s way too easy. What makes us “good” is how we treat the people around us.Walk In Integrity
To be sure, there is nothing wrong with engaging on social media with the right intentions or protesting in support of a good cause. These can be highly constructive activities in the right context. This article itself is a form of “social media.”
However, when relatively hollow activities become the basis of our moral identity–then the impetus to do the real work necessary to make a difference in our lives and in the world is unlikely to be present.
For more, check out I Took A Vacation From My Hyper-Sexualized Culture. Also, see the complete archive of articles on integrity.