Why are we obsessed with integrity?
Values in the absence of integrity are meaningless. You may profess to value compassion, but if your actions cause suffering, your values are only words. Yet true integrity cannot be achieved in the absence of awareness. And you cannot claim to have awareness if you do not strive for knowledge.
If you hurt someone’s feelings and they do not make you aware of it, you may go on thinking your actions are perfectly fine. Yet you cannot require someone outside of you to make you aware of the hurt- many in this world cannot, or will not, make you aware of the pain you have inflicted. You must necessarily cultivate a habit of awareness, a habit of looking for the consequences of your actions. You must examine your life in pursuit of integrity.
It is often more comfortable not to think about the consequences of your actions. Yet if you profess to value something, it should be the logical extension of your life and your actions. We profess to value love above all else. And love cannot exist in the absence of compassion. Compassion demands awareness- awareness of the sentience and potential for happiness or suffering of the conscious beings in our world. In this highly imperfect world awareness demands action. To truly value love is necessarily to live and act in integrity, to seek knowledge, to examine our actions, and to act upon that knowledge.