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Today, we are delving into something pertaining to character; an aspect most people shy away from; Integrity!

I was having an honest conversation with a dear friend of mine and he told a story of how he was in a wedding ceremony where he was assisting the newly wed to pick up sprayed naira notes meant for the mother of the day. He told of how, on remitting the sum of money, he was tempted to return only part of it.

This seemed like a bitter pill to swallow as he struggled between keeping some for himself and giving out all. The eventuality of this story is that the latter won the mental tug of war. This is called integrity.

According to Cambridge’s dictionary, integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. A simple word which can be used interchangeably is “honesty”.

Most people claim to be honest just to seem honorable but are we truly honest? I ask this because my opinion was required on a hypothetical situation… I’d like to bring the same question before you:

If you receive a parcel originally meant to be yours from someone, but on opening it, you discover that an extra wad of cash was mistakenly added to it, would you return it?

Your answer to the question will reveal what you need to know about you concerning our subject matter.

What about this, on your way out, you come across a purse containing cash and the identity of the person, would you contact them and return the item? Again, your answer decides for you…

It won’t come as a surprise that more than fifty percent of persons won’t return it. Some may even justify themselves by saying that “God don butter my bread”. It might interest you to know that most people follow the crowd. The fact that everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right.

It has become a norm so much so that if you are among those who are still upstanding, they treat you as socially unacceptable outcasts. Some even get sacked from their jobs for standing firm in their principles. This is what happens in everyday society.

Appreciate the distinction between right and wrong by ordinary standards. Stand for what is right! Like Steve Brunkhorst would say, “Supporting the truth, even when it is unpopular, shows the capacity for honesty and integrity”.

The first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not worked on your character. It behooves on you to tell yourself the truth. I leave you with the words of Spencer Johnson, “Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.

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