Integrity - Does it really matter?

Feb 2011
13,537
Perambulating in St James' Park
#1
Should integrity be taught in schools and colleges? Should children be taught about the value of serving their community and their country? Oddly enough we could probably learn a lot from North Korea with regards to civic virtue.

It's quite worrying that so many people in power become corrupt. The way Parliament has behaved in recent years with their tax evasion, Trump's lawyer and the dubious pay offs. Mind you, if we look at the Russians Putin happily murders any journalists who disagree with him.

Are honour, integrity and manners more relevant to old fashioned values? I certainly think so, you only need to look at Robert E Lee , Washington and other statesmen. Even Churchill took the blame for Gallipoli and went into the trenches - that wouldn't happen nowadays. A lot of the nouveau-riche don't seem get it and neither do a lot of the digitally obsessed younger generation. Nowadays people are judged by their pay cheque and their material assets, not what they do.

A lot of people criticise religion, but I think the decline of morality and civic virtue goes hand-in-hand with the decline of ecclesia. If people aren't taught about the importance of mercy, kindness and decency then the only thing left is the law of tooth and claw, and that seems to be where we find ourselves today.

Is it better to get a job where you can serve and try and improve your community or is it better to get a job where you can earn as much as possible and screw everyone else over? What do you guys think?
 
Jan 2017
678
UK
#2
Groucho Marx once said "the secret of life is honesty and fair dealing, if you can fake that you've got it made".

Certain professions get dirtier & more corrupt the higher you climb the corporate ladder, it takes a certain type of person to be a success in that field (aggressive, selfish and money-orientated). You can try going in there to clean it all up in an idealistic sense, but you're fighting a losing battle since everything's so tainted and interconnected it's virtually impossible to change anything for the better.
 
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Edratman

Ad Honorem
Feb 2009
6,564
Eastern PA
#3
Is it better to get a job where you can serve and try and improve your community or is it better to get a job where you can earn as much as possible and screw everyone else over? What do you guys think?

Honor and integrity are core principles of mine, and have been values that I upheld even before I was aware that I valued them.

I am retired now. For about 30 years I was aware that walking the path of ethical behavior was an impediment on my career path. Regardless, I chose not to screw anyone to enhance my status. The decision may have cost me significant money, but I like myself and sleep well at night so I seldom regret my choice.

When I started working professionally in the early 70's, there was a modicum of ethics and integrity, a situation that allowed me to establish my credentials before the serious erosion of values that accompanied the Reagan era. I am very glad that I do not have to enter the workforce of lip service integrity today.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,095
Australia
#4
It seems to have been lost amongst modern 'values' .

Its something I developed, as i was taught about its importance . It used to be a basic life teaching ; in the family, in organizations, in mystery schools , the Freemasons etc.

Nowadays, the younguns seem confused that I would even bring up the subject . Its totally gone out the window !

Even down to the level of simple human communications and reliability . A friend recently told me she thinks it is a development of social media that has now intruded into inter-personal communications . You say you will do something, or make an arrangement with someone, but it turns out you cannot fulfill it . Do you do everything you can to fulfill it ? Nope, certainly not ! Do you contact those concerned and try to make other arrangements ? Nope. Do you even apologize and explain later ? Nope . You simply just don't respond . You can make a hundred promises and then just instantly forget about it . .... and people seem surprised if you mention it or take them into account for it .

We see it in Internet discussion forums; people hammer a point, then it is challenged with valid information and questions .... too hard ? Just ignore it .

_ years of communicating with others, NOT in their presence . Doesnt matter what you say anymore. I have never been a fan of social media and do not have any involvement with face book twitter etc .

And I rarely give my word or promise, as I know, if I do, I might have to go through a HUGE effort to keep it . Others just seem to give their word and integrity on a whim. Anything arises and their integrity is thrown to the wind . And if you are so UNCOOL as to mention or even observe that you get a look of surprise, confusions or ...... incredulously .... indignation !
 
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specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,095
Australia
#5
and yes, that and ethics should be taught in schools at an early age . Its the basis of all societies (that want to thrive and continue) .
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,785
#6
Should integrity be taught in schools and colleges? Should children be taught about the value of serving their community and their country? Oddly enough we could probably learn a lot from North Korea with regards to civic virtue.
Whats the piont of teaching it in schools when wider society makes a mockery of it? The lessons of how society actually works will trump the wallpaper of some "values" in schools.

When buiness leaders and politicians need being held to account for this lack of integrity you might see someting.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,622
Australia
#7
Absolutely. I like to think I have integrity and am honest in my dealings with others, however I also feel a great contempt for many of my fellow citizens that I feel do not meet my standards or those generally accpted in society. I struggle with the thought "Why should I deal fairly with these scumbags? They certainly don't deserve it." However I also have enough pride not to lower myself to their level - usually.
 
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Angelica

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,735
Angel City
#8
It should be taught at home considering it is a learned behavior. We are living in a narcissistic culture that is declining in moral values. Those at the top in leadership are lacking these individuals lead the way as movers and shakers influencing the mass. It is gratifying to teach get to the top even if you have to lie, cheat, step on others etc. We applaud bad traits and stigmatize individuals who choose to be dufferent. It seems society's value system is warped and its moral thread is broken. Teachers can only teach what they have been taught anything less is hypocrisy. Consequently, always our action spills over into a broader society.
 
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Fox

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
3,904
Korea
#9
Should integrity be taught in schools and colleges?
Perhaps in principle, but in reality, how can institutions which largely lack both integrity and meaningful authority be expected to teach it? Hell, the state of public schooling in the USA at this point is building school buses without seat belts because the school staff are so unable to keep students in line that the risk of students hitting one another with the seat belts is greater than the risk of the students being harmed without seat belts during a traffic collision. How are you going to go from, "I can't even teach you not to hit your friends with a seat belt," to, "I can teach you how to live life with integrity?"

Should children be taught about the value of serving their community and their country?
If one's goal is to build a coherent, stable country, then yes, but part of such "teaching" -- and the primary part of it, for that matter -- must be constant examples of such conduct in the adults around them. What portion of the citizenry is genuinely willing to sacrifice for the country at large? In the West, both the wealthy and the middle class are actively opposed to sacrifice; they want to drive their taxes down as low as possible. By contrast, the poor (at least the urban poor) seem very eager to receive whatever handouts might be on offer rather than acting so as to minimize their need for such handouts. A society whose mentality is, "How can I grab as much as possible from the commons before the attendant tragedy strikes?" is ill positioned to teach community service; it may have individuals who are adequate exemplars of such values, but probably not enough to go around.

Perhaps both of the above issues could be resolved by some sort of major crisis disrupting the current cultural trends and causing enough people to shift attitude that suddenly a willingness to sacrifice for one's society would become prevalent, I don't know.

Is it better to get a job where you can serve and try and improve your community or is it better to get a job where you can earn as much as possible and screw everyone else over? What do you guys think?
As someone who works in what amounts to a community service job which pays less (possibly much less) than he could be earning in the same sort of work (education) in the private sector, I'd say I feel the former is preferable; I've done quite a bit of work above and beyond the basic terms of my employment in hopes of providing some additional value to my broader community, and I'm pleased to have done so. That said, I was also not "taught" to view the world this way; it's probably closer to a natural expression of my underlying character than anything.
 
Apr 2019
1
South Africa
#10
It's quite worrying that so many people in power become corrupt. The way Parliament has behaved in recent years with their tax evasion, Trump's lawyer and the dubious pay offs. Mind you, if we look at the Russians Putin happily murders any journalists who disagree with him.
I find it surprising that you think power has only been corrupting people in recent times. It is something that has been happening for as long as man has existed. It has been known since ancient times that it is very dangerous to give an individual too much power. Throughout the ages, a single person abusing the immense power they wielded, had been the spark of many a revolution.
Are honour, integrity and manners more relevant to old fashioned values? I certainly think so, you only need to look at Robert E Lee , Washington and other statesmen. Even Churchill took the blame for Gallipoli and went into the trenches - that wouldn't happen nowadays.
I personally think that the term honour to be very dubious. It has meant too many different things to too many people to be used as a measuring staff for moral degradation.
Integrity is a difficult one. To the common man, I think integrity has always been important, and is becoming increasingly important as the world is becoming more connected. Integrity, I think, is about being honest, even when no one is looking or when it does not benefit you. Honesty for the sake of honesty. Many people have seen their reputation ruined, because they are not the same wondrous, kind person that they portray themselves to be on social media.
The increased connectivity of our modern world is very good at highlighting the bad things in the world for the sake of sensationalism.
Nowadays people are judged by their pay cheque and their material assets, not what they do.
Again, this is not new at all. People have been judged by their material assets since the beginning of time. The Roman patrician class, for example, where the elite of society, merely by merit of birth, they could trace their family line back to the first senators of Rome. As the patricians where slowly stripped of their rights and the plebeians could start to acquire wealth of their own, the Roman elite transformed, and now the elite were not of a special line, but of a special bank account.
In modern times people are not restricted(by law at least), to certain positions because of their income or birth, like it has been for millenia before.
If people aren't taught about the importance of mercy, kindness and decency then the only thing left is the law of tooth and claw, and that seems to be where we find ourselves today.
We are living in the most kind and merciful time in history my friend. All over the world, love and acceptance is preached for people of all sexual orientations, races and religions. There is no more prosecution of homosexuals, women are allowed to do anything a man is allowed to do, slavery is abolished in the west, heretics are not burned at the stake. That hardly seems tooth and claw to me.

To sum up, I am of the opinion that backstabbing, corruption and lying has part of humanity for as long as it has existed. People have been talking about the moral degradation of society since biblical times, yet we ware still functioning and flourishing. I feel that society is no more immoral than it was 1000 years ago, but an increasingly connected world makes it seem so.
 
Likes: Tulius

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