A wise friend, once asked me,”What do you mean by intellectual integrity”.I simply said,”You mean what you say and practice what you mean”
This boring question put me in deep thought(my favorite hobby). Do I mean what I say? Do my friends mean what they ? Does our Prime Minister mean what he says? Who practises what he says or means. It was becoming a confusing and unsolvable problem. Who is ethical? Who practices what he preaches? Should I become a moral science teacher for the country? There are already enough who are teaching this wisdom on Twitter and Instagram. So it began. My search for integrity.
I researched with the help of my google assistant and found the first and the best definition of Intellectual Integrity.
Intellectual integrity is defined as the recognition of the need to be true to one’s own thinking and to hold oneself to the same standards one expects others to meet.
I took some time to absorb this. I still didn’t get it. Then, I discovered a simple way to define I.I(Intellectual integrity). It means measuring yourself by the same standards as we expect from others. It basically means an ability to recognize and admit your mistakes. We often contradict our own thinking. We expect others to treat us like a king while we at best treat them as commoners. (I will henceforth be using I.I for intellectual integrity) because I am lazy to type and I.I looks cool.
Stop obsessing about A.I, time to first understand I.I.A.I will have its own ethical issues, I will get back to A.I in my future post. Who needs I.I? everyone, right? Words like integrity only look good in the constitution, advertisements, and posters. Gosh, we have a beautiful democracy with strong elected representatives who work intentionally out of integrity. We have loud, quiet and subtle journalists who have sold their integrity long time back. Is Journalism dead? Can a citizen change the nation? I know, I am asking too many questions. But, who knows the answer?
When you hear elected representatives give an exaggerated speech before a chaotic event called the election, Your hope rise like a phoenix. Yet, when you see the same guy or lady, not keeping his words, You get angry and protest. Some folks offer freebies. Others talk about rights of downtrodden(so-called). Where do these amazing souls go away, when a real problem hits us on the streets. Are we too naive to vote just on the basis of good speeches? Accountability is an important trait to judge leaders. We as citizens should be aware of our rights(I know you have heard this a million times) and act to save our democracy from unethical leadership.
Before You judge others, look within. Before you teach other, learn yourself. Before you preach others, practice first. It’s actually that simple. Yet, simple is never easy. We expect others to be more kind than we are, more accountable than we are, more friendly than we are. It all starts with you(I know you have heard this a trillion times).To be integral in thought, you must be critical of yourself. It is not an easy trait to learn but is damn necessary for human species to exist. Otherwise, chaos created by hypocrisy will worsen this already precarious situation.
Are you willing to question your own belief? (Religion doesn`t allow that right?). Are you willing to learn from your mistakes? (easier said than done).To be integral in thought, action and spirit should be the goal of every citizen. In a democracy,every citizen can become a leader,that’s the beauty of it. Yet,we choose criminals to be our leader. Folks with sold integrity, rule our nation. What is wrong in our democratic process? Is it, of the people, for the people, and by the people. In essence, Control is with those who have power. Power to bend the rules,power to influence,power to divide and power to misuse for personal gain. Its time, citizen become aware of their rights in this young democracy. Stand up for what is right. For countries aren’t destroyed by the violence of few power hungry people, it is indeed destroyed by the silence of millions of law-abiding citizen(I know you have heard this a bazillion times). Good things need a constant reminder. Repetition is never boring if the intent is noble and grand. Folks, What are your intellectual integrity scores on a scale of 1-10?
Time to end this post(mostly questions) by this not so profound quote
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything”-Mark Twain