Tuesday, December 13, 2016


A friend on Facebook had posted a quote which was labelled as “Life Learned Feelings”. The quote said “Do the right thing, even when no one is looking. It's called integrity.” Under this, it said “Type 'yes' if you agree.”

This frustrated me because there was no acknowledgement about who had said it. I did some research, starting in Google when I asked it to look up who had said that quote.

On the Goodreads quote pages I found a quote which claimed that C S Lewis had said something very close to it. These words were “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”

I looked up the C S Lewis website and found a different acknowledgement. They said this was a paraphrase of a Charles W. Marshall quote in Shattering the Glass Slipper”. Marshall had published the book in 2003, and there was no final proof that he had said that, but the C S Lewis Foundation definitely said it wasn't C S Lewis.

I went to another website, Essential C S Lewis, which examines quotes which were acknowledged to C S Lewis. They'd printed this one, which was C S Lewis, but these actual words didn't appear either in the Life Learned Feelings Facebook page pic, or in the Goodreads quote.
We might think that, provided you did the right thing, it did not matter how or why you did it—whether you did it willingly or unwillingly, sulkily or cheerfully, through fear of public opinion or for its own sake. But the truth is that right actions done for the wrong reason do not help to build the internal quality or character called a ‘virtue’, and it is this quality or character that really matters.”
Mere Christianity (Book 3, Chapter 2 – The ‘Cardinal Virtues’).
This does not contain the word “integrity”. According to the two sites, C S Lewis Foundation and Essential C S Lewis, that word wasn't used by Lewis. Essential C S Lewis actually said that the quote printed on various websites or Facebook pages might have been said by Vickie Milazzo. In fact, it's on her own quote-pic on her website, and she comments in her blog about integrity. Maybe we should believe that, even though her quote-pic doesn't mention integrity.

Acknowledging the person who actually said a quote is essential, but don't just name anyone. Do your own research to find out who you should acknowledge, and put their name on your picture.

This might be your own “integrity”.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for helping to "carry the torch" when it comes to encouraging people to not falsely credit (or pass on quotes that are misattributed) quotes.