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Quotations about Integrity

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I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.  ~Abraham Lincoln

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.  ~Joseph Baretti, quoted by James Boswell, 1766, commonly misattributed to Samuel Johnson

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.  ~William Shakespeare

Transcend political correctness and strive for human righteousness.  ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book

Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.  ~David Star Jordan, The Philosophy of Despair

Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking.  There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught.  ~J.C. Watts

If you have integrity, nothing else matters.  If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.  ~Alan Simpson

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.  ~Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

Character is much easier kept than recovered.  ~Thomas Paine

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.  Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.  Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.  Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.  But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.  ~Buddha

One does evil enough when one does nothing good.  ~German Proverb

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.  ~French Proverb

Don't try to be different.  Just be good.  To be good is different enough.  ~Arthur Freed

Your life may be the only Bible some people read.  ~Author Unknown

Do not repeat anything you will not sign your name to.  ~Author Unknown

Are right and wrong convertible terms, dependant upon popular opinion?  ~William Lloyd Garrison

The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.  ~Thomas Babington Macaulay

The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.  ~William Safire

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.  ~Albert Einstein

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions, running down their friends, side-stepping responsibility, and pushing their luck!  ~Author Unknown

But that's always the way; it don't make no difference whether you do right or wrong, a person's conscience ain't got no sense, and just goes for him anyway.  If I had a yaller dog that didn't know no more than a person's conscience does I would pison him.  It takes up more room than all the rest of a person's insides, and yet ain't no good, nohow.  ~Mark Twain, Huck Finn

Character is higher than intellect.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I do good, I feel good.  When I do bad, I feel bad.  That's my religion.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it.  Autograph your work with excellence.  ~Author Unknown

Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.  ~Henry Ford

Laws control the lesser man.  Right conduct controls the greater one.  ~Chinese Proverb

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.  ~Mark Twain, "What Is Man?", 1906

If we are ever in doubt about what to do, it is a good rule to ask ourselves what we shall wish on the morrow that we had done.  ~John Lubbock

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.  ~James D. Miles

I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.  ~Matthew Henry

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.  ~Thomas Paine

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right.  ~Isaac Asimov

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.  ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet

A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.  ~Charles Evans Hughes

Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.  ~Aristotle

You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you.  ~Rwandan Proverb

A pure hand needs no glove to cover it.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

We grow with years more fragile in body, but morally stouter, and can throw off the chill of a bad conscience almost at once.  ~Logan Pearsall Smith

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.  ~Samuel Butler, Erewhon

Every time I've done something that doesn't feel right, it's ended up not being right.  ~Mario Cuomo

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.  ~Author Unknown

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.  ~Confucius

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh, 1849

You don't carry in your countenance a letter of recommendation.  ~Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge

I am,
a king,
because I know how
to rule myself.
~Pietro Aretino, 10 May 1537

Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.  ~Michel de Montaigne

Be always sure you're right, then go ahead.  ~Davy Crockett

The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology.  ~Red Auerbach

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily.  All other "sins" are invented nonsense.  (Hurting yourself is not a sin - just stupid.)  ~Robert A. Heinlein

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.  ~Henry David Thoreau

If we cannot live so as to be happy, let us at least live so as to deserve it.  ~Immanuel Hermass von Fichte

I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man I have ever met.  ~Dwight Lyman Moody

Conscience is that still, small voice that is sometimes too loud for comfort.  ~Bert Murray

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.  ~Will Rogers

My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people:  those who work and those who take the credit.  He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there.  ~Indira Gandhi

The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

A man is usually more careful of his money than of his principles.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., speech, Boston, 8 January 1897

There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball,
And that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all.
~Ogden Nash

In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.  ~Thomas Jefferson

It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong.  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Everyone complains of his memory, but no one complains of his judgment.  ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1665

God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.  ~Chester W. Nimitz

I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.  ~Author Unknown

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.  ~Henry Louis Mencken, "Sententiae," This and That: A Mencken Chrestomathy, 1948

The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.  ~Japanese Proverb

For the human mind is seldom at stay:  If you do not grow better, you will most undoubtedly grow worse.  ~Samuel Richardson

I would rather be right than President.  ~Henry Clay, speech, 1850

If moral behavior were simply following rules, we could program a computer to be moral.  ~Samuel P. Ginder

I never did, or countenanced, in public life, a single act inconsistent with the strictest good faith; having never believed there was one code of morality for a public, and another for a private man.  ~Thomas Jefferson, 1809

It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.  ~Noël Coward, Blithe Spirit

Goodness is beauty in the best estate.  ~Christopher Marlowe

The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between political parties either - but right through every human heart.  ~Alexander Solzhenitsyn

If we were all to be judged by our thoughts, the hills would be swarming with outlaws.  ~Johann Sigurjonsson

Righteousness is easy in retrospect.  ~Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Persons with weight of character carry, like planets, their atmospheres along with them in their orbits.  ~Thomas Hardy

Men are not punished for their sins, but by them.  ~Elbert Hubbard, A Thousand and One Epigrams, 1911

I will follow the right side even to the fire, but excluding the fire if I can.  ~Michel de Montaigne, translated

Our names are labels, plainly printed on the bottled essence of our past behavior.  ~Logan Pearsall Smith

I have found some of the best reasons I ever had for remaining at the bottom simply by looking at the men at the top.  ~Frank Moore Colby

It's impossible to be loyal to your family, your friends, your country, and your principles, all at the same time.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless, since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience the injustice of our fellows.  ~Jean Baptiste Molière, Le Misanthrope

If honor be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime; but if clothing be your honor, it will soon be worn threadbare.  ~William Arnot

Conscience warns us before it reproaches us.  ~Comtesse Diane (Marie Josephine de Suin de Beausacq), Maximes de la vie, 1908

If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is sinking downwards to be a devil.  ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Every wrong seems possible today, and is accepted.  I don't accept it.  ~Pablo Casals

Are you not ashamed of heaping up the greatest amount of money and honour and reputation, and caring so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul?  ~Socrates

Every human being has... an attendant spirit.... If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.  ~Lydia M. Child

To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.  ~Will Durant

Every man over forty is responsible for his face.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.  ~William Faulkner

There is no man so good that if he placed all his actions and thought under the scrutiny of the laws, he would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.  ~Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1595

If the desire to kill and the opportunity to kill came always together, who would escape hanging?  ~Mark Twain

God may forgive your sins, but your nervous system won't.  ~Alfred Korzyybski

What is right is often forgotten by what is convenient.  ~Bodie Thoene, Warsaw Requiem

I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.  ~Mahatma Gandhi

[T]hough of all poses a moral pose is the most offensive, still to have a pose at all is something.  ~Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist, 1890

A man may be born a jackass; but it is his business if he makes himself a double one.  ~Martin H. Fischer

Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.  ~Ann Landers

Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.  ~Suzanne Necker

The strength of a man's virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.  ~Blaise Pascal, Pensées, 1670

In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale.  Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.  ~Ambrose Bierce

There is a great deal of self-will in the world, but very little genuine independence of character.  ~Frederick W. Faber

If it was necessary to tolerate in other people everything that one permits oneself, life would be unbearable.  ~Georges Courteline, La philosophie de Georges Courteline, 1917

I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals.  I have within me the great pope, Self.  ~Martin Luther

How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one finds darkness not only in one's culture but within oneself?  There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions.  You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.  ~Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber one has some day to cry aloud on the house-tops.  ~Oscar Wilde

You can't learn too soon that the most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency.  ~Somerset Maugham

Reputation is character minus what you've been caught doing.  ~Michael Iapoce, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Boardroom

I'm a slow walker, but I never walk back.  ~Abraham Lincoln

In all men is evil sleeping; the good man is he who will not awaken it, in himself or in other men.  ~Mary Renault

Man is the Only Animal that Blushes.  Or needs to.  ~Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar, Following the Equator, 1897

The universe seems bankrupt as soon as we begin to discuss the characters of individuals.  ~Henry David Thoreau

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Browne

The only guy I have to get better than is who I am right now.  ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter

I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.  ~George Washington

If it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul.  ~William Shakespeare

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.  ~Norman Vincent Peale

Live so that your friends can defend you but never have to.  ~Arnold H. Glasow

When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.  ~Max Lerner, Actions and Passions, 1949

It is easier to find a score of men wise enough to discover the truth than to find one intrepid enough, in the face of opposition, to stand up for it.  ~A.A. Hodge

Have no fear of robbers or murderers.  They are external dangers, petty dangers.  We should fear ourselves.  Prejudices are the real robbers; vices the real murders.  The great dangers are within us.  Why worry about what threatens our heads or purses?  Let us think instead of what threatens our souls.  ~Victor Hugo

Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels so good.  ~Author Unknown

Do whatever you can to capture, or recapture, your life spark - unless it harms others, in which case suffer with as much happiness as you can muster.  Your nobility of spirit will spark itself.  ~Corri Alius

I did not use paint, I made myself up morally.  ~Eleanora Duse, Le Gaulois, 1922

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.  ~Mark Twain

I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves - such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine.  The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  ~Albert Einstein, "What I Believe," Forum and Century, 1930

A healthy mind has an easy breath.  ~Author Unknown

The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.  ~B.C. Forbes

Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself.  The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.  ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.  ~Buddha

The time is always right to do what is right.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't.  You cannot shirk this and be a man.  To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let me label you as they may.  ~Mark Twain

'Tis better to suffer wrong than do it.  ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.  ~G.B. Shaw, Man and Superman, 1905

Conscience is, in most, an anticipation of the opinion of others.  ~Henry Taylor

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.  ~Thomas Paine

Remember, if you’re headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns!  ~Allison Gappa Bottke

Morality may consist solely in the courage of making a choice.  ~Léon Blum

I'll tell you a big secret, my friend:  Don't wait for the Last Judgment.  It happens every day.  ~Albert Camus, The Fall, 1956

If at first you don't succeed, do it like your mother told you.  ~Author Unknown

A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.  ~Doug Larson

Take care that no one hates you justly.  ~Publilius Syrus

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.  ~Mark Twain

We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Little boldness is needed to assail the opinions and practices of notoriously wicked men; but to rebuke great and good men for their conduct, and to impeach their discernment, is the highest effort of moral courage.  ~William Lloyd Garrison

You can stand tall without standing on someone.  You can be a victor without having victims.  ~Harriet Woods

Rule #1:  Use your good judgment in all situations.  There will be no additional rules.  ~Nordstrom's Employee Handbook

Have a very good reason for everything you do.  ~Laurence Olivier

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Last modified 2023 Oct 27 Sat 17:00 PDT

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