Friday, May 19, 2006

integrity in public office

Integrity is a natural imperative in human relationship. It generates and maintains honor and dignity among individuals. It promotes and confirms veracity and honesty in society. It moves and inspires people to live in unity and enjoy peace. Human integrity is the standard accompaniment of decency and respectability in every level of human living.

The presence or absence of integrity in domestic life means the success or failure of the family. In the local community, the integrity or lack thereof on the part of those holding public offices promotes or arrests the social development and progress of the place. For those holding national public office, their integrity or corruption brings about the inspiration or desperation, the admiration or disdain of the people they are bound to serve.

Lying, cheating and stealing, dishonesty, falsity and lechery, these and similar sick and sickening personal liabilities constitute one big living social curse. This malediction becomes more destructive when those thus ethically disqualified precisely come to hold high public offices. The more socio-ethical havoc they cause in the country, the bigger and hotter social volcano they bring about.

Those who are basically corrupt by their given personality constitution, habit or disposition, should be the last persons who should be entrusted with any public offices—especially those wielding big power and influence. Those who could not be trusted even with small things should never be entrusted with greater responsibilities. Those who happen to trust them are eventually the victims and losers.

Integrity in public office comes as a matter of course. It is not something that should be automatically expected. It is neither anything extraordinary that could be considered as a reality in the supra-human order much less in the supernatural sphere. One who seeks and gets a public office has no option but to be upright and forthright. If one gets the gratitude of the people, well and good. Otherwise, he or she is simply doing a sworn duty, and getting well paid for it.

Devious and deceitful parents ruin a family, public leaders who are deviates and crooks waste a nation—these are constants in human history. And they always leave behind a shameful memory, a despicable legacy.

19 May 2006