Editorial – Inteager: integrity, identity and being eager

Written on 21-12-2023

Inteager: integrity, identity and being eager

Take the test

Pause for a moment to consider someone in your immediate surroundings —be it in your family, circle of friends, or professional milieu— whom you regard as a person of integrity. Now, repeat the exercise by associating the term “integrity” with a well-known personality.

Got them? Excellent. It’s highly likely that these individuals aren’t reclusive or hermit-like. Instead, they are personalities who stand out due to their ability to remain true to themselves while consistently engaging with others, seamlessly integrating into various groups, circles, and organizations.

A delve into the etymology of the word “integer” —my Latin studies in high school provided me with a solid understanding of how the word was originally crafted— yielded some intriguing revelations.


I discovered that the term “integrity” evolved from the Latin adjective “integer”, signifying whole or complete. It is defined as ‘an undivided or unbroken completeness’ or ‘a state of being complete or whole.’ When applied to an individual, it refers to the concept of living by one’s values and principles. In this context, ‘completeness’ represents a comprehensive framework of beliefs, moral principles, ethics, and standards —a worldview— that guides every decision and action. Living with integrity involves staying true and authentic to our code of beliefs or worldview, ensuring that others can rely on us to act consistently and honestly, in accordance with this code.

I stumbled upon this definition serendipitously through a Google search on the website of the International Organization for Migration

From integrity, I continued my exploration to a word closely resembling it: “integration.” I rediscovered the Latin root of the word “integrate”: “integrare,” which means “to make whole.” I came across a quote from the actress and producer America Ferrera: “I can’t be the leader I’m meant to be without all of the parts of who I am.

Hence, integrity and integration primarily revolve around a whole and how one, as a whole-part, can become part of a new whole. It’s not a deconstruction of one’s identity or aspirations but a construction, akin to how each of us builds and enriches our identity through layers.

This is what I aspire to retain from the tumultuous final months of this era and carry forward into the beckoning new year. Those who are resilient, grounded on solid foundations, become an even better, or “fuller,” version of themselves by integrating with other wholes.


However, this necessitates one crucial quality: patience. Whether we welcome it or not, impressions, whether accurate or false, are swiftly formed nowadays. Tall trees catch an exceptional amount of wind. More and more politicians will, at least temporarily, be accused of betraying some of their own principles to attain power. Influential figures in the business world might swiftly transition from one job to another or make unexpected strategic moves (as evidenced by the recent example of the CEO of OpenAI). However, time will prove essential in determining whether someone has truly become someone with “enriched content,” to use contemporary terms.

We must resist the temptation of hasty judgments. Why? Those two individuals you thought of at the beginning of this article as examples of people with integrity likely built their reputation gradually into a robust image. (Perhaps) slowly, but certainly. In the face of the demand for immediacy imposed upon us, it is crucial to afford a value like “time” the time it deserves.

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