Character & Integrity

By Ronald Court

If we want to help students develop character and become leaders of integrity, we better be clear about what that really means. Or we risk seeking objectives as vague as that judge’s description of pornography: “I can’t describe it, but I know it when I see it.”

We need good working definitions for “character” and “integrity.” After googling around a bit, here’s my take:

It takes character to do the right thing. … and
It takes integrity to do the right thing all the time.

…Even when it hurts.

Persons of integrity live by a code of moral values—and sticks to it. It doesn’t have to be complicated. The civic organization, Rotary, has a simple “4-Way Test” of all the things they think, say or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?

3. Will it build GOODWILL and better friendships?

4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

Easy to say. Hard to do.
—-But the payoff is a life lived on purpose and with direction!

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”– Samuel Johnson

Booker T. knew that. And now, so do you.

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