Tuesday 27 March 2012

Do We Value Integrity?

Integrity what?

Honestly, I am not sure whether all of us understand the meaning of integrity. We may be using this word in our daily conversation but whether we mean what we say is another question. The real test is how we conduct ourselves, especially when nobody is watching. As Spiderman says, "with power comes responsibilities". The more power we shoulder, there would be more opportunities where our integrity to be tested.

In a society where the power distance is huge like ours, we tend to ignore behaviors which compromise integrity simply because the person concerned is "somebody". Worse, that particular person would go everywhere behaving as if that such behavior is the reason or quality which gets him to be in the present position. Why? Wherever he goes, the people keep on kissing his hand as a tacit acknowledgement that they too are happy which such conduct.

While, our sons and daughters are also watching. They could then form a view that for them to be successful in the future they have to do the same. Eventually, the compass of the society will turn south, we would eventually be happy in selling our soles to the devil to progress further in a society where wealth and money are symbols of success, how we accumulate them is irrelevant.

In is interesting to note that Muslims form the majority in this country. Integrity is fundamental in Islam as Prophet Muhammad was known as "Al-Amin" or "The Trustworthy" even before he was promulgated as a prophet. I suppose this indicates that the prerequisite of leadership is integrity. We can appoint a crook into a position of responsibility but can't expect the person to act with integrity. A crook will behave like a crook and we should not be complaining if subsequently chaos is created later. Are the Muslims walking the talk when in comes to acting with integrity in our conducts and in making decisions? 

Are we as a society gradually moving into the situation of collective irresponsibility? We don't care about our conducts but keep on complaining when our collective decisions resulted in disappointing outcomes. 

Remember Einstein used to say, "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Are we collectively insane? If so, no wonder we don't value integrity.

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