What’s left when integrity is lost?

November 10, 2020
Noor A. AlNaboud

Somebody made an incisive observation that largely holds true. The statement was that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: Integrity, intelligence and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.

Why is integrity important? Most significantly why today. We are raising this question in the backdrop of the recently concluded presidential election of United States of America where this integral characteristic was at a premium. But it is not only in US, but also globally that integrity is lacking.

Integrity is actually a trait that lends strength to our moral fiber, which in turn shapes our character. The test of our integrity is constant in the many and different ways we walk in our lives and reflects what we do and how we really think.

When we talk about integrity, that also means honesty, it needs us being completely transparent. And every person seeks that inherent quality in people, especially in our near and dear. We all, more importantly, look for integrity and value it in our leaders and countries.

What does it mean to be honest? In basic terms, it means to be human and be just and with these features, the person is sure to bring justice into society and to allow people to be whole and complete.

The trouble is, today, we live in a society where we lack this value. One can easily notice when politicians speak disparagingly of their countries and compatriots, such as “Our country is sick or our nation is sick and we have to make it better.”

I think their absurd observations come from serving personal interests while lacking integrity. This type of language is quite dangerous as it is an indication of social and political weakness because of lack of vision.

Integrity affects us in every aspect of life and makes us increasingly stronger to face the challenges life throws at us constantly; every single area of our life, every relationship regardless how we approach it, needs integrity to build the bridges of trust that shapes our lives, relationships and then the society.

We are living in a world that’s dependent on integrity. Business leaders around the world, every single day, work on the principle of trust, and they need to see integrity in their work. If integrity is lacking then most will not do business with people they don’t trust.

In reality, the question of integrity affects us all of the time. It goes with all our interactions because our relations are morally and ethically governed.

The interesting thing about integrity is that it has a physiological dimension. As per one TV show, body language says a lot about the person lying and, if we can read facial expressions one can figure out once someone is lying or feeling guilty about something.

The key question, however, remains unanswered: Who do we trust and what do we trust? This can be understood by recognizing the qualities exhibited by the person — with moral and ethics coming first and other things in order accordingly.

In this competitive world I think “moral philosophy” is fundamental to have. And we should be taught about it during school, although I believe what’s most true is in our holy books, where we study the meaning of honesty, trust and integrity spiritually and philosophy as well.

— The writer can be reached on Twitter: @moionlynoor

November 10, 2020
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