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“Integrity is like the weather: everybody talks about it but nobody knows what to do about it” (Carter, 1996, p.160). The definition states the uprightness of character; honesty; the condition, quality, or state of being complete or undivided. Integrity is all-or-nothing; either one has it, or one lacks it.

A person of integrity does exactly what he

says and says exactly what he means. There is no conflict between his thoughts and his words. His actions areconsistent with the values he posesses.

Martin Luther King J.R. is a prime example of an

integral figure. Being such a strong, integral African

American had to be such a difficult position to fulfill

during his times. King states that African Americans have

waited “340 years for our constitutional and God-given

rights” (145). He also notes that it is difficult to wait for their rights when they have seen “vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen

hate-filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill your

black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast

majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society..” (145-146).

Dr. King always acted upon everything he stood

for. “Several months ago the afflilate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct-action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came, we lived up to our promise,” he wrote to Birmingham’s clergymen in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (143). This statement also proves that he represented a nonviolent Civil Rights Movement from the beginning.

On the contrary, not all people occupy integral

lives. Whether it is seen or not, corruption is evident

in everyday life; between co-workers in the workplace,

mixed between teachers and students in schools and

displayed by athletes in professional sports. Corruption is defined as lack of integrity or honesty; especially susceptibility to bribery; use of a position of trust for dishonest gain.

A white collar crime is a crime committed by an

individual during the course of their occuption. Inside

trading is revelant in the case of Ivan Boesky. It was

nearly a decade and a hald ago, when Boesky tampered with stocks. His stock manipulation put $19 million in his pocket and inflicted a $217.6 million dent in the company cash flow. This is just one of the many examples of corruption in the workplace.

After interviewing my eleventh grade English

teacher, Dr. Jean Rogers, I was informed that she catches an average of twelve students a day copying work from another student or plagiariasm. In his essay in the July issue of Reason, Jerry Jesness admits to “giving passing grades to students who failed all of their tests, to students who refused to read their assignments, to students who were absent as often as not, to students who were not even functionally literate.”

The sole purpose of professional sports in not

the thrill of winning, but the entainment value or thrive to play the game. Over the years, corruption has played a valuable role in professional sports. Such corrupt behaviors include illegal drug use and cheating. In 1996, Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin was indicted on two counts of drug possession (cocaine and marijuana) and possible prostitution.

Is their help for people who are subjected to

corruption? Yes, there is according to Stephen Carter in his 1996 book-length meditation, “Integrity”. Carter explains integrity requires three steps: (1) discerning what is right from what is wrong; (2) acting on what you have discerned; (3) saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right from wrong. Many people who demonstrate corrupt behaviors can not distinguish between right and wrong, that is the downfall. Following these steps can and maybe one day will put an end to corruption and start a beginning of upright way of life.

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