Is it Hard to Define Integrity?

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Integrity is defined as having honest qualities while also having strong moral principles. Thus showing that when people break the rules to demonstrate their personal values they are upholding their strong integrity. This means that rule following isnt always a requirement because, in some circumstances people must methodically weigh the consequences versus the benefits of cheating for survival.

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“Is it Hard to Define Integrity?”

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In times of extreme stress and pressure from the classroom, life, or even war, people must cheat to survive. Cheating breaks the rules of the classroom, society, but can be justified by outside pressure and extreme expectations. Students in schools are compared to others intelligence through state standardized tests, grades, gpas, and SAT or ACT test scores that decide which college they go to. This intimidates many students and stresses them out. This causes many of them to look for alternative ways to succeed. Students feel responsibility in school from parents to get good grades and make it into a good college. There is usually pressure or something significant going on in a students life in which theyre not getting enough support to do this work, so cheating becomes a coping mechanism. (Walker).

People arent born in life wanting to cheat in life and get ahead of others. This mindset is taught through high standards and comparison to others in school, such as; tests, projects, and grades. Students under scrutiny for high test scores feel the need to cheat to please others and feel validated in their school work that they work so hard on. If a student tries the best they can and cant get the grades they want; they turn to cheating to help them achieve their burdensome goals. While in reality, adults should be supporting the student and not put so much stress on grades and test scores. Students recognize cheating, but blame it on others. Adults and peer pressure play a big role in the stigma surrounding the increased level of cheating. When students cheat they usually cite individual misjudgement on the part of themselves or their peers, they also pointed to external factors and the climate and structure of the school, namely pressure they felt from adults and their peers. (Walker)

Adults wanting their students to achieve the best of their abilities often dont know when the academic pressure is too much. Expectations of straight As and perfect SAT scores must be set aside for the student to feel relaxed at home and in the classroom. This will improve their performance and cause a less corrupted learning environment that doesnt only focus on scores. Parents may compare their child to their siblings or other friends, and feel guilty that they were inadequate parents when their child isnt the highest scoring student. From this place of blame, parents put exorbitant standards and pressure on their children. While the parent should be surrounding their pupil with all the resources, and time they need to feel confident on tests and essays. When people feel stressed and too much pressure from adults and life, they start to cheat to survive the harsh conditions theyre living with.

This does break the traditional rules of the classroom and society, but can sometimes feel necessary in severe circumstances. When the consequences of cheating or dishonesty are outweighed by the benefits; such as, public service to safety or food for your family, a persons integrity isnt breached. Edward Snowden is a computer professional who formerly was contracted by the C.I.A before he worked at the N.S.A that detected threats to government computer systems in Hawaii. Edward Snowden revealed the U.S. government’s extensive project that intercepted electronic communications and his great public service that more than outweighs any breach of trust he may have committed (Cassidy).

The government is known for having secret projects and missions that intrigue the public. Thats how some television shows are created and become popular. When characters in those shows breach protocol theyre either classified as traitors or heroes. The decision to endanger his life and career for the general public shows bravery. Snowden didnt have to release that information, but he chose to out of concern and care for safety of the public. The N.S.A is the national security agency that deals with American defense. Their job is to protect the U.S from foreign threats and keep the country secure. Snowden exposed the extent of N.S.A collection of information about telephone calls made by millions of Americans, as well as e- mails and other files of foreign targets and their American connection (Toobin).

Although Snowden knew that there were going to be huge consequences for his actions, his conscience knew that this project couldnt continue. The tracking of American allies could turn countries against each other and endanger the publics lives more than not knowing terrorists text messages. The most dangerous terrorist groups have already figured this out and dont use electronic communications, like Al Qaedas base in Pakistan. If the N.S.A was hacked, millions of peoples private information could be floating around the world with potential terrorists getting ahold of addresses, credit card information, and phone calls. This could enable terrorist groups to organize larger crimes with their access to private data. The benefits of public safety outweigh the potential harm of cheating or dishonesty. A persons integrity isnt breached when information is revealed. Integrity damaged by cheating can be repaired through hard work, commitment, and persistence to personal morals and societal norms. Mademoiselle Loisel was a French women born into a poor family; she married a minor official, but always longed for more. When Mme. Loisel started doing heavy housework, to perform the hateful duties of cooking. She washed dishes, wearing down her shell-pink nails scouring the grease from pots and pans (de Maupassant).

When Mme.Loisel started to have to do all the work around the house, she learned her lesson of greed. If she hadnt had so much greed as to want to be an upper class women, she would never have gotten into this situation in the first place. Her excessive wanting for what wasnt hers clouded her judgement and view of life and what it has to offer. Loisel had plenty of good things in her life; she just didnt realize them till after her misfortune that drove her through years of hard work Mme. Loisel loses her friends diamond necklace and must find means of getting money to buy a new one. Mme. Loisel and her husbands hard work and labor reverse her misjudgements and dishonesty to herself. She became a peasant women, basket in arm, guarding sou by sou her scanty allowance, she bargained with the fruit dealers, the grocer, the butcher, and was insulted by them. (de Maupassant)

Mme. Loisel and her husband embrace the life theyre thrown into and learn to live with less than they had before. Loisel grasps the importance of appreciating what you have and learns bargaining. She also become less sensitive and delicate with all the labor she must do, and emotional abuse ensued by harsh bargaining. If someone works hard enough, shows commitment, and persistence, their integrity can be restored from cheating. Breaking rules is a way for a person to show their integrity. As not all rules are fair to everyone in society.

Rule following isnt always a requirement based off the definition that its being honest and having strong morals that makes you have integrity. If a rule is unjust to your personal morals, it may be justifiably broken. Students feeling intense stress in classroom look for alternatives, people feel they can cheat when the benefits outweigh the consequences, and if someone does damage their integrity they can heal it through hard work. Integrity has many gray areas in what defines cheating and breaking your integrity. Its a highly debated topic and should remain this way. Everyone has different views and opinions that are important to acknowledge, but no one person is ever correct.

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Is It Hard To Define Integrity?. (2019, May 13). Retrieved December 7, 2022 , from

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