Bangalore-based HR professional, Preeyan, tells us about the importance of integrity, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Integrity is a word that means much more than the meaning given in the dictionary. Of every quality that a person may develop in trying to achieve his ambitions, integrity holds the key to this success. Many times, we tend to wander in thought. Our ambitions take a completely different direction and we end up starting at a point and moving in a completely different direction. I am not saying that this is bad but asking you to introspect if what you have achieved is as per what you always wanted.
I am not talking about those who set out to be sports persons but ended up being successful businessmen or successful employees. I am talking of those who set out to be a sports person, did not do well because of issues like, bad habits or friends and turn out to do something just for the sake of survival and never really got anywhere.
We have all seen an example of this with many of our friends. The reason for this tumble and the change is because of lack of integrity.
Integrity can never be a singular quality, it has to complement other characteristics. What it implies is that that integrity is that one thing that holds you together and does not allow you to fall. Such as self-belief that you can get out of a bad situation and do well. It is, the driving force of all that we have to do. Most successful people keep their integrity intact and do not lose focus. There is also a moral angle to it. Whatever you do to reach your goal has to be morally right, what is morally incorrect means that your integrity levels are way lower than acceptable levels and it is the greed that drives you to achieve what you have got.
Everyone may talk of integrity as though it is something within a person that has to be developed. For me, it is what he has developed from when he starts realising things. In India, we have been brought up in such a way that we bribe people to get something done and we don’t feel that it is against out integral principal. Yet we claim to be high on integrity. It implies that the definition of integrity between two people is completely different.
One thing that I would suggest is that to improve the standard of integrity let’s start small. It has to be easy to do and easy to practice and easy to hold on to. Like, say, for instance, I decide today that “I will not break any traffic rules”. A simple step, easy to practice and continue. Try it, it’s a small step. Then keep adding things to that list. You will soon realise that the world is a better place and making it better started from you. Imagine when the same thought is followed by a 100 people, the roads in our country will be better places and not the chaos that it is today.
My appeal to the readers is that if we take such small steps towards increasing our integrity levels starting with ourselves and then educating others, we will soon see a sea of change that no one can ever imagine. Every good thing starts with one individual that will then become a house, then a colony and then an entire community. It is up to us to make this conscious effort.
If we say we are high on integrity, we need to be concerned about our surroundings, environment and the society. The reason why organisations have a social responsibility. It is because of this. But what we do instead is that we do not contribute to reducing the ill effects of emission to the environment and keep buying more cars, use a lot of paper, plastic usage is extremely high and we are increasing e-waste. We do not know how to recycle. All this is because our selfishness comes in the way and we are only concerned of our tomorrow and not about what our children may go through in the next 20 years.
In 10 years, what we have seen is that this generation of youngsters born after 2000 has no or little social connect other than Facebook or social media, which is on a phone. They seem to be more about themselves that there is absolutely no social lesson that they learn. They have no idea of emotions, what it means to have a companion, how it means to have an adventure with a few friends of the same age group, they do not know how to behave in a group and that little time they spend in school is not helping in any of these. In an environment such as this, that we have created today for them to grow up in has been because of our selfishness and our short-sited views. We just did not get the big picture of what was happening. The cost of all this is that integrity goes out of the window.
I still think it is not too late. We can still make all this better. For that, we need to start, and that means I start with me and you start with you. Let’s together visualise the big picture.
Integrity is as important as you.
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