A quote from V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore goes like this:
“But it was my integrity that was important. Is that so selfish?
It sells for so little, but it’s all we have left in this place.
It is the very last inch of us. But within that inch we are free…”
This quote got me thinking. Thinking hard. Anything to do with freedom gets to me. And here we are talking about freedom like it is. In real life. It talks about integrity. What is Integrity really? Wikipedia says that Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. That sentence sure is a mouthful. But what does it really mean? Being consistent across thoughts, words, actions seems simple enough but is actually quite difficult. Think about it. Do we really share all our thoughts with the people around us? Is it really possible? Reasons for not sharing our thoughts could range from our worry about changing their perception about us, or hurting their emotions with our honesty or just because we feel vulnerable doing so. None of these reasons could be seen as wrong or bad. They might be genuine and by ignoring them, we could be opening up a whole new dimension to the existing relationship. Nothing wrong with that too except that we will not know for sure unless we go ahead and do it. This is one of those scenarios where we need to play it out from start to end to know the finish. We can’t really read the last page first! And this is our story we are talking about, not the plot of someone else’s story line. How scary is that?
For me, pretty scary stuff actually. Why is that so? Why is it that these kind of scenarios scare me so much. Do I really believe that the people close to me have no clue about who I really am? Is the truth or honesty going to expose something so drastic about me that life will never remain the same again? I don’t know. But since that thought seems to be there hidden somewhere in the deep corners of my mind, my words and actions tend to not always follow my thought pattern. This means that I might have something on my mind but my words may not be a mirror of those thoughts. Similarly my actions also might have a deeper meaning than what is outwardly or obviously conveyed. And I am thinking this might be true for others too. At the very least true for a few others perhaps. Which means there is a lack of Integrity. Right? We need to bring consistency in our lives and only then can we be able to claim integrity in our lives.
Now back to the quote. Here the author talks about Integrity as though it were the most important thing, rather all that we are left with. And how even that might not be enough sometimes. But rather than taking the easy way out, he is reminding us that it is one of the main ways to be really Free. If we are able to fight our demons, both real and imaginary, and strive to lead our lives with Integrity then we are – for that brief moment – truly FREE.