Integrity is defined as ‘the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles’. Integrity is about making good choices. It is doing the right things for the right reason. It is about being honest with yourself and honest with others.
Sometimes you may not be sure what the right thing to do is in a situation. When this happens, you can ask yourself a few simple questions to come up with the right answer, such as: “How will this decision affect others? Am I considering how this will make other people feel? Will I be proud to tell my parents or teacher that I did this?
Doing the right thing is an incredibly important thing. It will affect your friendships, your family, your community and your future. Little choices that we make can have big consequences on ourselves and others.
Below are some inspirational quotes that help explain the importance of integrity, honesty and doing the right thing.
- “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – Mark Twain
- “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.” – William Safire
- “Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.” – J.C. Watts
- “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” – Alan Simpson
- “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad.” – Abraham Lincoln
- “Every time I’ve done something that doesn’t feel right, it’s ended up not being right.” – Mario Cuomo
- “To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.” – Confucius
- “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” – Malcolm Forbes
- “Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.” -Henry David Thoreau
- “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare
- “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” – Davy Crocket
- “Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor, I lose myself.” -William Shakespeare
- “Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.” -Albert Einstein
- “A half truth is a whole lie.” -Yiddish Proverb
Here is a great video that shows integrity and honesty in action:
And here is a real life story about Joey Prusak, a teenager who demonstrates great honesty, integrity and caring:
Topics for Discussion:
- What is your favorite quotation about honesty and integrity above? Why?
- What are a few key lessons from the quotes above?
- Talk about a time when you were dishonest? How did it make you feel? How did it impact others?
- Are there any times when you only ‘kind of’ tell the truth?
- Thank someone for being honest the next time you see it happen.
- If you ever find something that is lost, turn it in to an adult and encourage others to do the same thing.
- If someone wants to copy your work, explain that it is not the right thing to do. Do your own schoolwork honestly.
- Tell your parents about something that you were not truthful about.
- Express your feelings without blaming others, exaggerating the truth or hurting someone else’s feelings.
- See all of our other great quotes for kids
- Here is a great page from a school in Hawaii that talks more about honesty
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.