Updated: November 17, 2011 13:07 IST

Integrity lessons

D. Murali
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In a world of half truths, we face the lifelong challenge of telling the whole truth even when it is inconvenient, write John Yates and Susan Alexander Yates in ‘Raising Kids with Character that Lasts’ ( They warn that the most dangerous force working against us as we desire to be people of integrity is rationalisation. “Today’s litmus test for honesty seems to have become, ‘It’s okay to do what you want to do so long as no one gets hurt or you don’t get caught. Or if you get caught, it must be legally done or it doesn’t count.’”

Reminding that becoming people of integrity is a constant process involving ‘building in’ good qualities and ‘weeding out’ bad ones, the authors exhort parents to have a deep hunger within themselves to honestly grow.

A section on ‘trustworthiness’ explains that keeping confidences is an important ingredient in becoming a trustworthy person. And, as for ‘secrets,’ a simple rule of thumb laid down by the authors is that children keep a secret unless it can be harmful to the person or to someone else. “Then you must tell an adult. Even if you know the person will get angry, it is better to tell.” A rule that can, perhaps, work with whistle-blowing, too.

Ready takeaways of value.


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