We are a delicate network. Your identity to that network is not always clearly defined. It is so undefined that there is some temptation to give yourself up to that network, to become only a node in the net which moves with the waves and takes what comes. But for the strength of that network itself, your identity has to be more. It means that each node is strong and is not easily undone.
A person is undone when they have lost their integrity. Integrity is that which makes us decidedly an individual and those without it have given themselves up to the waves. There are basic forms of integrity which a person can’t give up – ethical integrity, logical integrity, and personal (temporal) integrity. Ethical integrity is compromised when we act and speak in ways which would conflict with our ethical principles, upon reflection. Logical integrity is compromised when we are unable to reason from principles (including ethical) and beliefs, in a logical manner, to other beliefs and actions – we are not capable of effectively reflecting. Personal integrity is compromised when we do not keep our promises, either to ourselves or others, perhaps by lying, but possibly because we are somehow different at different times.
We cannot do so much about what comes our way. In many ways, we can only choose good friends, do our part to stay out of trouble, and hope for the best. But we can do something to live within ethical principles, use logic to effectively reason about what to do, say, and believe, and work to maintain a consistent identity that allows us to keep our promises. This site is intended to journal my struggles in maintaining that integrity against the currents that attempt to compromise it.
The events which have shaped my struggle are largely chronicled in my memoir: atheoryof.me