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Letters to the Editor 

Emerald’s Gem Box: Integrity

Integrity, according to Dictionary.com means, “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.”

What is integrity? It is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It is generally a personal choice to uphold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.

Integrity means doing the right thing, at all times and in all circumstances, whether anyone is watching or not!  Integrity means doing the right thing no matter what the consequences are! Integrity is when your conscience agrees with your actions!

My Daddy always taught us, “There’s nothing worse than a thief or a liar,” “A man is only as good as his word,” and every time I ran out of the house, headed off with friends, he would always hug me, kiss me, and say, “Always act like a lady.”  Whenever we did wrong we were punished - hard.  But, if we lied or cheated, during that wrong, the punishment was ten times worse.

People seem to have an enormous lack of integrity in the world today. Integrity seems to be something that isn’t taught or spoken of as much as it should be.

Marches and protests turn into violent beatings of other human beings; businesses are vandalized and/or destroyed; freeways and interstates are totally shut down because of the mass quantity of people standing in the way; and innocent police officers are being ambushed and killed!  And why? Because all of these perpetrators believe that their “excuses” and “reasonings” outweigh and justify their actions.  They have chosen to ignore their inner feelings of what is right and wrong and/or were never taught it, to begin with. And the worse part… no one is holding them accountable. The liberal media puts a spin on it to where it sounds justified; the colleges are encouraging the students to participate; and adults are blaming it on the immaturity of young people.  It’s not immaturity - it is the absence of integrity!

Now, let’s bring it home a little closer. How do we use integrity and moral principles/values in our daily lives?  If you’re a business owner, do you lie or cheat in order to make more money? As an employee, do you take home (steal) the company’s pens, paper, and other office supply material?  Do you sit at work and play on the internet and Facebook all day, when you should be working (and are being paid to work)?  Do you call in “sick” to work when you’re really not? Do you cheat on your spouse? Do you “cut corners” on your task at hand and not deliver the best you possibly could, just to try to get ahead?

Always remember that dishonesty will follow you for a life-time.  Don’t lose the ability to be trusted as a person of integrity! That is the most valuable quality anyone can have; for a man is only as good as his word is.”

Live with integrity and teach your children the same.  Teach them to be honest and excellent in all that they do!

Remember who you are and what you stand for!

Success will come and go, but integrity is forever!

Revelation 22:12 "Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.”

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