I once read that a man said, “Until I expire I shall not take away my integrity from myself.” I gave this much thought when I was younger but did not get the sense of it. It sounded like a powerful statement. Now let me try to attempt to explain it to you my sons. There may be things that happen in your life that will test your fortitude, your faith & what you believe in. If it is not some skeptic trying to convince you of agnostic or atheism then it is a circumstance that you may have to endure.
It is true, I lost my faith when your eldest brother Stephen died. “How can the innocent die,?” I told myself. Not outwardly but inwardly I was very lost. My foundations were shaken and compounded by losing my first family a couple years earlier. I was never one to feel sorry for myself, that is not my way. I looked for strength in logic and rational reasoning. I studied all different kinds of philosophy and began to make progress with the oneness and soundness of my mind.
About this time you two boys and your sister Faith came along into my life. Wow, what an amazing gift for me I thought. Maybe someone is rewarding me for my strength, my fortitude? Then another devastating blow, your sister Faith was killed, then I was infected with Lyme’s disease shortly afterwards. It was all I could do to drag myself out of bed, my mind was cloudy I had a very hard time thinking.
It’s a good thing that I am not a superstitious man, I would be thinking that someone really hated me in the universe. Just imagine what that would do to someone’s psyche who was superstitious?
You see, I was shown what true strength is. Many people will tell you they are strong but I am not sure if they know what they are saying. I would of rather of been weak and not have those things happen to me. I no longer desire to have my strength tested, the cost is way too high. However Armor Fati, I will accept my fate and live it the best I can.
The man who made the statement, “Until I expire I shall not take away my integrity from myself.” was a man named Job. He had 10 children that were killed, all his riches taken away and he was infected with a severe disease of boils all over his body. It was in this state that he uttered those words. I think that I now understand more than most what that powerful statement meant.
Never give up your virtue, it is the only thing that will never die unless you kill it. There are many things or circumstances that may attempt to take it from you but only you have the power to kill your own virtue. Your virtue is your integrity to what you value.
Defend what you believe in with silence. Never cast your pearls before pigs. The one who challenges your virtue is not worthy of it. One with true strength does not need his virtue approve by others. Do not look for acceptance of your virtue from others.