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The Telescope

Why integrity is abstract, yet a critical value

Success comes and goes, so goes a popular adage but integrity lasts forever.

Integrity has been defined as a constant consciousness of doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. That is no matter the consequences.

But this could prove daunting when we live in a fickle world where “the end justifies the means” has become an acceptable school of thought for far too many. It is a thriving era of over-promise and under-delivery. There in lies our Waterloo.  Today, people seem to gain power quickly and easily if they are willing to cut corners and act without the constraints of morality.

Known or unknown to them, dishonesty may provide instant gratification but it will never last. Dishonesty has a way of attracting retribution. It may take time but in the end, justice is served, and , as one magistrate once said, it is best served cold.C-F-Payne

I can think of several examples of people without integrity who are successful and who win without ever getting caught, which creates the false perception of the path to success.

Unfortunately, that momentary result comes at an incredibly high price with far reaching consequences.

An underestimated fact is the immeasurable profit that comes with a network of people who trust you as a person of integrity which lasts forever as compared to a negative word of your character that spreads like wildfire. The value of the trust others have in you is far beyond anything that can ever be placed on a scale.

On a personal level, integrity rewards in having an army of people willing to go the extra mile to help you because they know that recommending you to others will never bring damage to their own reputation of integrity. On the contrary, a person’s dishonesty will eventually catch with them.

It may not be today and it may not be for many years but you can rest assured that at some point there will always be the hour of reckoning.

We become more and more like the people we surround ourselves with day to day and if you want to build a reputation as a person of integrity then it follows, naturally, that you should surround yourself with people of integrity.

Why spend years building success then risk losing it at an instant to villainy relations? Careless mistakes of entertaining toxic company can prove very costly.

A Latin proverb says that wise men learn from the mistakes of others but fools from their own. Building a steady reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second for it to come crumbling like a house of cards.

That is why I always say to all who will listen: “Do what is right, let the consequence follow.”

This article was published on March 22 2015  in People Daily Kenya

The Telescope

Regrets can be healing or destructive

Regret can be your worst enemy or your best friend. You get to decide which. Whichever you decide, you live with it. You bear its consequences

A simple insensible choice can prove more tragic than death, not to mention the colossal amount of regret that you live to bear if ‘death’ does not happen.

Ah, regret. The forehead-slap of hindsight, the woeful fuel of country ballads, the self-recrimination that creeps into our lives all too stealthily. If you have ever made a bad decision or suffered an accident, regret has been your roommate, if not your conjoined twin.

It is a difficult companion, prone to accusatory comments and dark moods, and it changes you, leaving you, paradoxically, both tougher and more tender. You get to decide, however, whether your toughness will look like unreachable bitterness or unstoppable resilience; your tenderness the raw vulnerability of a never-healing wound, or a kindness so deep it heals every wound it touches.



Regret can be your worst enemy or your best friend. You get to decide which. Whichever you decide, you live with it. You bear its consequences.

There are at least two-time zones where you can choose to make regret’s powerful energy healing rather than destructive: the past and the future. Both can be transformed by what you decide to do right now, in this moment.

But such is hard for a close friend who recently lost his son to his three military-trained German Shepherds last month.

The couple had left for work as usual, leaving behind their two children, a girl, six, who had just closed school for the holidays and their son, one, under the care of their househelp.

As the day went by, their daughter decided to play with the dogs. This was something she had always done since she had become accustomed to them at a tender age. In the presence of her younger sibling she innocently let the dogs out of the kennel. At first they played with the small girl impishly as the small boy watched.

A little later the dogs crept towards the small boy and pouncing on him amid helpless cries from the sister.Although the past does not exist except as a memory, the stifling nature of events, unchangeable in animages incident such as this, makes it hard for the couple to fathom their story as faintly having a positive twist to a tragic regret.

But we take comfort, though fleetingly, in the warm, if belated, realisation that time heals more than the doctor. We may seem lost in the anguish of the moment but this, too, will pass. And the wounds of today will slowly, painfully, form the scars of tomorrow.

Ah, yes, the jagged edges of today’s tears will be smothered by time. And resilience. But the regret will be there though…

This article was published on April 18 2015 on People Daily Kenya