Integrity, according to the inspirational author, John Maxwell, means a firm reputation.
Image is what people think we are and integrity is what we really are. Therefore, it is safe and sensible to define integrity as the following:
- Holding onto clean morals and ethical values
- Truthfulness (The Ibos call it “Eziokwu bu ndu” meaning truth is life).
- Accuracy of action
- Moral responsibility
- Honesty and authenticity
Integrity is what will make us achieve all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) with a sincerity of purpose and focus.
The Efiks will say “Etoesemmongesekpammong” (what is bad is bad) and so the person with integrity knows that you just have to do the right thing (a remark my kid sister Arc. Erica Nwanyanwu will always drum into my ears).
The Yorubas will say “Sokoto to n iseoko lo n gbe” (Your labor yields your affluence), which we simply know means that a good name (integrity) is better than riches. Integrity is being distinct, interestingly attractive yet consistent in action.
Your integrity determines the opportunities available to you in life (Eziafahka ego). Your word is your integrity.
These days we see people falsifying papers in offices, using false measures to trade in the market, making fake political promises (as politicians), insincere talks (as parents/spouses), inconsistent ethical and religious teachings (as our religious leaders).
These cases are so sad and disheartening as they have ripple effects on society. People with little or no integrity think about how to commit evil and they do eye service.
People of integrity mean what they say and say what they mean.
People of integrity don’t talk too much but they express massive/heavy action. They don’t do filthy or careless communication. They don’t display lies and falsehoods but rather they display a high sense of honest behavior.
They are driven by a passion and thought to do more for humanity (exactly what we need to achieve the UNSDGs). People of integrity have impulsive behavior.
Examples of good integrity can be seen in the following:
In an office – An employer and employee are both honest.
In a hospital – A doctor and his patient hold each other accountable and the doctor respects the patients’ Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and doesn’t tell people about the patient’s medical history.
In a bank – The bank staff respects the customers’ confidentiality in terms of their financial status.
Our intellectual mentality has to change for us to recognize that we have little time on our hands to do the right thing with integrity to achieve the UN SDGs before 2030. Our integrity is key because our time is NOW.