Ethics And Integrity Essays Examples
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Humans are social animals who live in a public domain. The life of humans is governed by the societal institutions that have been in existence for the past times. The nature and personality of a person is greatly influenced by the societal conditioning that a person is exposed to right from a very tender age. Humans are conditioned to act in a specific way and believe specific things that are set as normative by the institutions.
The compliance with the parameters of propriety in congruence with the societal institutions and practices is something that is expected from one and all. Any deviation from the societal practice- correct or incorrect- would be seen as an act of subversion by the societal institutions and the system.
However, the main challenge for an individual is to escape from the clutches of the impositions of societal institutions. It is true that societal institutions and systems have a major role to play in the lives of people. But, the mind of the individual should never get overtly influenced by the standards of the society. Rather, each individual should aim to have a mind and logical string of thoughts of his or her own.
It is of paramount importance for any person to be ethical in nature. A person should learn to different between the right and the wrong thing in life and society. It might often be so that the set rules of the society are at loggerheads with the personal ethical standard of the individual. In such a circumstance, the person should judge properly if his or her own sense of ethics is correct or not. The person should have optimum integrity toward the cause for which he or she is fighting the odds.
For example, when Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the Letter from Birmingham Jail, he knew what is stand on the issue was. He knew very well that the actions initiated by him could be misconstrued in public, and the dominant force in the society was not in his favor.
The clergymen had written open letters critiquing his decision of leading a march while it was banned. However, no societal institution and its impetus could deter the spirit of King. He knew what he was doing was correct.
King knew that the societal bodies like government, religious bodies, and a large section of the society were all against him. But, at the same time, it was clear to him that he needed to have a stern stand on the matter of racism. His personal ethical obligation toward the cause of racial equality made him write with utmost passion and conviction.
He was successful in reaching out to the masses with his appeals and logical explanations. He is one of the greatest examples in the history of mankind who established the fact that personal ethical obligation is of primary importance in the life of a person.
It has to be understood that the rules of the society were made by humans. There is no divinity in the rules of the society. Thus, the rules that are prevalent might be obnoxious or incorrect in practice. An individual should have the valor and grit to uproot any such practice that comes across as improper or discriminatory toward someone or a section of the society.
Stephen Carter goes on to argue about the importance of integrity in the writing, “The Rules About the Rules.” He opines very strongly in favor of being intrepid enough to have the grit to fight for the right cause. He cites the example of civil rights’ movement to say that integrity of a person can be judged by his resolution to break the rules if necessary.
“Integrity does not always require following the rules.” (Carter) Thus, one should have the correct worldview to judge a situation or occurrence in the correct way. People need to show integrity toward the right cause. There is no point in showing regard to some societal practice in case it evokes inequality, discrimination, or injustice.
It has to be understood that the societal institutions would work in unison to justify the actions that are prevalent in the society. Moreover, the normative actions that abide by the parameters set by the institutionalized structures of the world might need a close scrutiny by the individual. Ethical obligation of an individual should transcend the importance of institutional obligation. People have to judge the world around with their morality, conscience, and logical outlook.
Institutions of the world should aim to act ethically as their actions define the fate of many people in the globe. Societal institutions need to take into account the fact that their sole aim should be to bring in the betterment of the world and population. People have the onus on their shoulders to think rationally, and not oblige to any illogical or discriminatory bias in perspective and practice.
The appropriate ethical standards should include equality for all, respect for all people across the world, honesty, and kindness aimed at one and all in the society. The betterment of the society is possible if there is ethical standard in every person’s mind. The key to the advancement of the civilization lies in the integrity and ethical practice of the individual.
Carter, Stephen. “The Rules About the Rules.”
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