I Stand for Integrity*

Ever notice how anything that sounds just too good to be true is always followed by an asterisk?

I was intrigued by a bank ad a few years ago that advertised Absolutely Free Checking. No Asterisks. So I called. It was true that the checking account was free but you had to keep a very high minimum deposit and you could only write a small number of checks to qualify for free. When I asked why it just couldn’t be free, I was told that it boiled down to the way I define a checking account.

Ah, that made sense to me. I obviously had a different definition of what a checking account is than this bank had at the time. I didn’t open the account.

This week we, at The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, launch our annual I Stand for Integrity Week. One activity taking place across the country is the opportunity for everyone to sign our I Stand for Integrity banner.

I have been surprised, over and over and over again, how many people ask what kind of integrity are we at NSCS talking about. Huh? People want to know if we are talking personal integrity, academic integrity or professional integrity. I always respond is there a difference?

Do you need to put an asterisk on your “I Stand for Integrity”? I believe when it comes to integrity it is a commitment to everything or nothing at all. You can’t be an occasional integrity person. In my mind it is pretty simple, integrity is a “Yes” or “No” quality and when asked do you stand for integrity the answer should either be “Yes” or “No”, right?

In the bank account of life, it was once asked in a church service, are you making deposits or withdrawals? Are you contributing to life in a way that is honest and truthful and making the world a better place or are you taking withdrawals from life in ways that are dishonest and not honorable?

I remember thinking, duh, I am honest and truthful and I am sticking with that. Unlike the absolutely free checking account offer where we differed on the definition of a checking account, I don’t remember there being any asterisks in the question to us regarding how we defined a life of integrity. Honest and truthful. Always and with everyone and everywhere. Simple!

Well, the bank that I called about the Absolutely Free Checking account is now out of business. I, on the other hand, still continue living my life and working hard every day to make honest and truthful deposits to a life that is meaningful and makes a difference.

Yes, I stand for Integrity. Do you?

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One Response

  1. […] Inspire Integrity Awards. These students and professors, embody integrity. Steve is right when he says he doesn’t see a difference in academic integrity or personal integrity. It’s all the […]

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