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New Year Resolution
by Satya Prakash
Issue 10
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Once again we are at the threshold of a new year and ready to say goodbye to the year gone past. The month of January, named after the double faced Roman king Janus, who could look into the past and future, symbolises the resolutions that we make every year.

There are different kinds of resolutions, to learn something new, to spend more time with family, to be successful in our work or to enjoy life more. There are many limitations which, when factored, in would decide whether we would be able to carry out our resolutions or not? So is there a simple resolution? A resolution which is easy to keep and yet so powerful that it transcends our personal life and makes this world a better place to live. I can think of one such resolution, the resolution to ‘be a better person this year’ and the most important aspect of it is to maintain our ‘Honesty & Integrity’.

The question is: Do we really understand the meaning of ‘Honesty & Integrity’? What is the difference between ‘Honesty and Integrity’?

Almost all the dictionaries list them as synonym. According to me, ‘Honesty’ is the concept of being truthful, adhering to ethics, refusal to lie, steal or deceive. ‘Integrity’ is the conduct, in terms as demanded by honesty, while having holistic approach to both the requirement and result of the conduct. Is there any difference?

Can you be honest without having integrity, can you have integrity without honesty? The answer to the former is ‘yes’; you can be honest without having integrity. This can happen when you are not able or willing to act in a manner as demanded by the standards of honesty. Honesty is the concept and integrity is the realization of the concept. The answer to latter question is ‘no’; you can’t have integrity if you are not honest; it is simply out of question. You can’t realize a concept without having the concept.

Do both ‘Honesty & Integrity’ go together? I have seen people who were always honest, having right and ideal views, but when the time came to act upon it, they were not able to do so. Some were not able to withstand the pressure of doing the things in the right way, or not able to bear the result of honesty. The reason most of us take both honesty and integrity as synonym is because it is the integrity which tells about the honesty.

A person is judged by the actions, so that goes for honesty, reflected by the actions of integrity. So whoever has integrity will carry honesty along with. There is no use of such honesty which can’t be acted upon; at best, it can be used to deceive oneself. The saying “something is better than nothing” does not fit here - it is useless to be honest when you can’t act in terms of it.

The result of honesty is not always fruitful in materialistic terms, the reason why it is not always acted upon. It needs the courage of one’s conviction, the conviction which comes only when a person is convinced by conscience of the propriety of the act, then only there will be conduct of integrity. It requires belief in one’s values, it requires being fearless of the consequences, it may require to sacrifice the comfort of short term worldly pleasures for the sake of the larger principles of life. It might be difficult to maintain our integrity but one deed of integrity is way much satisfying than partying many evenings. Dishonesty may be quite enticing but it will never appeal to our conscience.

Now since we know what ‘Honesty & Integrity’ is, I feel it would be easier for all of us to have one New Year Resolution - ‘to be a better person’.

Visit Satya Prakash’s blog: www.greensatya.blogspot.com

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