Tuesday, 03 February 2009
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THE MEANING OF INTEGRITY
Integrity comprises perceived consistency of actions, values, methods and principles. Integrity may be seen as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one’s actions.
In the context of behavior and morality, the property of integrity may be seen as the virtue basing actions on an internally consistent framework of principles. One can describe a person as having integrity to the extent that that person does or believes – actions, methods, measures and principles are derived from the same core of values.
The etymology of the word integrity stems from the Latin adjective integer [ whole, complete]. In this context, integrity may comprise the personal inner sense of “wholeness” deriving form honesty and consistency of character. People are said to have integrity to the extent that others judge whether they behave according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.
Many people appear to use the word integrity in a vague manner as an alternative to the perceived political incorrectness of using blatantly moralistic terms such as “good” or ethical. In this sense the term often refers to a refusal to engage in lying, blaming, or other behavior generally seeming to evade accountability.
Popular discussion of integrity often see the concept as an all-or-nothing affair: one describes an approved person as “having integrity” [ as an absolute], but condemns an enemy or collective enemy organization as “completely lacking in integrity”.
Law Professor Stephen L. Carter sees integrity not only as a refusal to engage in behavior that evades responsibility, but as an understanding of different modes or styles in which discourse takes place, and which aims at the discovery of some truth. Carter writes; integrity requires three steps:
1. discerning what is right and what is wrong,
2. acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost, and 3. saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right from wrong.
“Integrity can be compared to a great smoothie. It consists of many healthy and tasteful virtues such as discernment, loyalty, courage, honesty and humility all mixed together to form one outstanding quality. Not only is it rewarding in the end, but the act of striving for it, is well worth the effort”.
You may wonder why I have exhaustively discussed integrity in this page. This is because Mr. Ramon Galang, the Philippine Community School’s Board of Trustees President claimed that the school’s administration, teachers and Board of Trustees possess integrity.
Therefore, let us review the behavior that this group of people had exhibited so far and consider whether they have even just a minuscule amount of integrity in their make-up.
First, as a result of an open forum where Alex Manahan had asked whether it is possible to keep a principal’s term to three or four years, he was asked to apologize in writing with no less than Vice Consul DIngal in their lead when she was not even supposed to be there.
Second, the people who supported Alex Manahan’s right to free expression were accused of wanting to take over the school. An accusation led by none other than the school’s Board of Trustees President and his bosom friend Fr. Allan Arcebuche, OFM.
Third, the alleged incorporators of the school consisting of Atty. Luis Flores, Aleth Ramirez, Ramon Galang and Sr. Eva Estolloso, claimed that they are the owners of the school in a letter sent by Atty. Luis Flores to Ambassador Bayani Mangibin dated 29 December 2007.