As India observes Vigilance Awareness Week 2019 (Oct. 28 – Nov. 02) under the theme, “Integrity – A Way of Life, Dimapur Govt. College which is also observing the same, would like to share some thoughts on this year’s theme, considering the serious issues posed by corruption today in almost every aspect of human activity.
The reason why the Central Vigilance Commission organizes ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’ is to bring out systematic improvement in governance by ensuring integrity in public administration. In addition, the Commission with its outreach activities also endeavors to create awareness among the common people, especially the youth towards a policy of achieving transparency, accountability and corruption free governance. The Commission describes corruption as dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, either to obtain benefits for one’s own self or some other person. It is also seen as a global phenomenon, affecting all strata of society in some way or the other, and it undermines development in all areas of life. Thus, the theme “Integrity – A Way of Life” was chosen to counteract this systemic evil called corruption by inspiring younger generations to live a righteous and honest life.
We often use the word integrity interchangeably with character. When we think of Integrity, we immediately think of morals or ethics, not performance. Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist, in his book titled “Integrity- The Courage to Meet The Demands of Reality” gives a broader definition to the word Integrity. Most people do have integrity as we define it in society today – they are honest, trustworthy, good upstanding citizens. Dr. Cloud believes that having integrity is not just about being a good person but that it is about becoming a complete person. And this could be achieved through the six qualities of integrity which allow us to avoid the problem areas of integrity. Therefore, integrity is having enough character growth to ensure that these problem areas of integrity can be tackled and thereby allowing us the ability to meet the demands of reality.
The six qualities of integrity as he defines it, are as follows:
1. Firstly, it is the quality of creating and maintaining trust. This is how most of us define integrity and it is the most basic quality.
2. Secondly, it is the ability to see and face reality. We have to face our problems head-on since we cannot run away from those problems, nor can we pretend they don’t exist.
3. Thirdly, it is to work in a way that brings results. Some people may work for hours but may not be as productive as the person who works much lesser.
4. Fourthly, it is the ability to embrace negative reality. Successful people love negative reality. They seek it because they want to learn from it. They want to meet that negative reality head on and embrace it. And you respond, not in a negative way but in a positive way. You’ve learnt from it. You know how to deal with it and now, from turning it from a negative to a positive, you can move on and you can become more successful.
5. The fifth quality is to cause growth and increase. It’s easy to stay where we are. It’s easy to maintain the person that we are. But we all strive and want to grow, like the small child who is continually learning new things. We can have a much more fulfilled life if we continue with self-development and self-growth rather than sitting idly on the sidelines.
6. The sixth and final quality is achieving transcendence and meaning in life. This is where it all comes together. Once you have achieved that transcendence, you know that your actions and everything you do is just a small part of a much bigger picture. You become happier to help others. You become happier to continue to grow and develop not only for yourself but for the good of those around you.
The three areas where problems occur in integrity are:
1. Hitting a performance ceiling that is much lower than one’s aptitude
2. Hitting an obstacle that derails you
3. Or achieving great success only to self-destruct
Why are these three areas problems and what causes them to become problems more and more? Well, it’s because not everybody has all those six qualities and not everybody maintains that complete person and not everybody has that character of true integrity by the book’s definition. That is why we have to strive to maintain and continue to grow and self-develop all these six qualities of integrity so that when these issues arise, we can really avoid them or at least minimize the problems and the effects of those problems as they arise in our lives.
Corruption is not only the misuse of authority but also the lack of desire to do anything about it. So today, why don’t we try to apply these principles laid down by Dr. Cloud so that we not only try to change the world but change ourselves as well?
In sum, considering the nature of corruption prevailing everywhere, and being one of the major obstacle to economic, political and social progress of the country, it calls upon stakeholders such as government, citizens and private sector to work together to eradicate corruption. This demands commitment to the highest standards of honesty and integrity at all times, and support the fight against corruption. Let us therefore pledge:
· To follow probity and rule of law in every walks of life.
· To neither take or offer bribe.
· To perform all tasks in an honest and transparent manner.
· To act in public interest.
· To lead by example exhibiting integrity in personal behavior.
· To report any incident of corruption to the appropriate agency.
In order to strengthen our conscience towards living a life of integrity, the words of Apostle Paul says, “I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men” (Acts 24: 16).
Dimapur Govt. College
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