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.
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 http://bit.ly/1HnBXAW