Advice to Students, Part IX: Integrity

Integrity. The book definition of this word is: honest, sincere, open & upright in character and actions. Brian Burrell in his book, The Words We Live By, addresses this big word and argues that we all live by certain words, creeds, and ideals, whether we know it or not. However, words and ideals may conflict: “…integrity consists in knowing which words take precedence over others.” So many challenges we face today, in my view, can be reduced to a lack of integrity. Cheating on standardized testing in Atlanta; race relations in Ferguson, MO, and now Baltimore, MD; performance-enhancing drugs and deflated footballs in professional sports. The great reggae musician Bob Marley said: The greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires but in his integrity and ability to affect others around him positively. Strive to make integrity a bedrock principle in your lives.

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