Lean into Integrity

As I watch our country today—from Instagram and TikTok thirst traps to presidential mug shots—I find comfort in taking leave from these egoistic perversities, settling back into the seat of the soul, and reminding myself of higher forms of human dignity. On this Sunday, of the simple yet resolute strength of integrity.

Woven from virtues

as strong as braided steel

Anchored by truth and humility

integrity is the spine of character


Like the rock in the river

unmoved by the torrent of water

Standing steadfast against the current

that often prefers vice to virtue


Centuries old and yet rare today

integrity seems a quaint reminiscence

Foundational values faithfully tended

transcend wealth and idolization


Integrity nourishes the ascetic

whose frailty is an alluring mirage

Made invincible by devotion

his knowing eyes lay artifice bare


The greatest compass of all

is the one with a needle of integrity

Where should I go, what should I do?

Each step is a rung made from virtue


As when rhythm and harmony meld

the resonant vibe clutches the soul

Like a choir of impassioned angels

upon whose wings integrity sails


Today’s dystopic severities

are no match for virtuous character

Deployed in the spirit of mercy

to rescue the future of humanity

I wish each of you a sense of calm today before Monday ushers in a new array of disturbing fits of orange outrage and petulant narcissism. My advice: let it rise and let it pass. Notice, but do not engage. If we lean into the strength of integrity in our own lives (and demand the same of our leaders), Abraham Lincoln’s “better angels of our nature” may prevail again someday.