Week 1 Honesty week 2 Integrity Week 3 Reliability week 4 Justice
Our subject is a difficult one. Why? The baseness of our human nature is “self-centered.” Being honest is a part of our character that we must learn. Just watch those innocent little buggers under the age of 5. Most of them must be taught what honesty is and why it is a good thing. In addition, raw honesty is not always appreciated. Many people want to hear what pleases them, not unadulterated truth. As with many things, honesty has two sides.
Our definition will cover the most commonly used and obvious meanings: A refraining from lying, cheating, or stealing; a being truthful, trustworthy, or upright. Most usually understood as sincerity; fairness; straight forwardness of character. Scouts (boys & girls) are most noted for exhibiting these signature traits. They are always good traits to encourage.
Think of what symptoms are associated with honesty. It reflects one’s moral character. It is more that just the absence of dishonesty. Honesty has positive attributes as well as an absence of negative traits. An honest person will sometimes wrestle with what would be the right action. In making a decision ask yourself this question: if this were printed on the front page of the newspaper or on the nightly news, how would I feel? That question can help guide you in the right direction.
The impact of honesty is that a person without it cannot have good integrity. Why? Many times a person cannot have good, sound integrity without honesty. When our words match our actions daily, we will have good integrity. Honesty assures that our words match our actions. Honesty is a vital part of being sound and complete in our moral character. It is indicated by being consistently true to our values.
In relationships, honesty must be tempered with compassion. If we are honest in a relationship, words can be used that are totally honest but have a negative impact. What others hear can seem to be cruel. Words, while honest, may be received negatively by the hearer. If honesty borders on being negative or cruel, it is best left unsaid. At times thoughtless, raw honesty may seem right, but what is our motivation? Is our motivation to build up or tear down? We need to think about this question before we speak. It can help save a relationship.
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Don Galer says: “Integrity is what we say, what we do, and what we say we do.” There is an important connection between what we say, do and the actions that follow. If that connection is broken then our “integrity” becomes impaired or collapses. To lack integrity is to lack soundness.
This one of those words that helps to define us as well as can define it. It contains the ingredients for one of sound character. Integrity is the quality or state of being of sound moral principle and to be upright, honest and sincere. These characteristics are desirable if one is to be held in high esteem. When these are absent, it leaves with a fractured nature.
Integrity contains the sense of fairness, duty, ethical conduct and a sense of balanced goodness. It motivates one to do what is right despite the consequences of such virtuous action. It produces an inner satisfaction of being morally and ethically fit. One good symptom is that of an inner stableness and strength.
Integrity brings a simplicity and oneness into one’s life. It produces a wholeness of one’s character that is very desirable. Your character is unimpaired by having to sort out what values to use and when. It lays a foundation that others can see and depend upon in times of stress and trouble. Others will turn to you when life gets troublesome and the road is rough.
Integrity is one of those signature marks that make a distinct impression upon others. It produces the footing upon which one can build a relationship of lasting value. It helps one to develop a soundness of character that can support others in times of need. It produces a “stick together” kind of attribute that cements connections to others.
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Do you have reliability? This question should be one that we ask every time we here someone or something making claims. Several synonyms may help us to better understand what being reliable means. The expression, “like a good Boy Scout” may help. Loyal, trustworthy, dependable, faithful, constant are some words that ring true for someone who is reliable. For a solid reputation, reliability should be a part of your integrity.
Reliability has to do with repeatability. It is being consistent in action no matter how many times it occurs. In general, reliability (as a systemic definition) is the ability of a person or system to perform and maintain its functions in routine circumstances, as well as hostile or unexpected circumstances. Are you a trustworthy source of information? Can you be trusted with confidential information? Positive answers to these create reliability.
The best way that we can understand reliability is to look at other words that can describe what it is. Words that quickly come to mind are definitive, unerring, willing and worthy. When someone is describing the characteristics of reliability in another person, the four words mentioned above quickly come to mind. Truly the image of a Boy Scout and what he is taught at a young age embraces the character of a person who is reliable. Shifty, shady characters are never seen as being reliable except to continue doing bad things. Be Steady Eddy with constant reliability.
The impact of reliability exerts itself in several ways. A reliable person is seen as genuine and can be trusted. One will be seen as a legitimate asset to another’s inner group of trusted associates. To be reliable means that one is unerring in expectations involving self or others. When one is facing emergencies, the reliable person is one who can be depended upon to act in a steadfast manner. Reliability presents a very positive characteristic as a personality trait
Reliability in character helps build confidence in relationships. It presents one as being of authentic nature. As a foundation trait, it builds an aura of trust, discretion and dependability. A relationship can withstand a lot of extreme pressure when it is built upon the framework of one who is extremely reliable in thinking and action. Relationships built with reliability last.
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Justice is one of those words that run the gamut of meaning. Its range covers a wide scope. There is a sense of fairness or lawfulness when we think about the use of this word. Justice also brings to mind those who break the law and are held accountable to it. In the U.S. we commonly think of the Statute of Liberty as the symbol of what justice means. It is part of the foundation upon which our country was built.
In Webster’s we commonly see eight different meanings for the word. Of those meanings we normally think of three things: the quality of being righteous, fairness or being of sound reason. Many times we also think of justice in its legal sense as the administration of law or one who administers justice. How often do we think of using the word as that of reward or penalty? Do we get our just deserts? Let’s hope sound reason will prevail.
How do we recognize symptoms of justice? Most often what we see are acts of injustice. Events or actions that occur which inhibit or impair the administration of justice in a fair and impartial way can be symptomatic of a flawed justice system. In the U.S., our system of justice is designed to be administered fairly, by law and without prejudice. Justice that favors any one group or individual over another is an indication of a flawed justice system.
The impact of justice is to produce a community or society that favors equality, due process and innocent until proven guilty mindset of its citizens. Justice for all should produce an environment wherein those citizens within the community are treated fairly and equally by all who are in authority. An environment of fear, deceit, trickery and treachery are not a product of a system of justice for all.
Without justice, good relationships cannot survive. They must exist and be encouraged in an atmosphere of fairness, truth, equity and impartiality. Justice means that actions are done in a manner that is right and correct. Otherwise, any relationship without a foundation of justice will eventually weaken and crumble.
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