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Do what is right
It just keeps surfacing the word integrity every time sport is mentioned or discussed. What exactly do we mean when we use the word integrity? I am starting to get the feeling that integrity is a dead horse.
In the last few weeks, I have had to work very hard mentally and emotionally to be my usual positive and optimistic self. That it has been very difficult, I can’t or wouldn’t hide. I have been doing a lot of soul searching, trying to make sense of certain things that don’t, at least to my way of thinking, make much sense. So, maybe it’s a good thing I am in Doha, Qatar trying to make sense of this notion of integrity in sport. It certainly seems as if everyone has a different definition of what constitutes integrity. But more and more it seems that integrity as a core value is out of season.
Must we assume the worse and plan accordingly, because it’s going to get worse before there are any discernible signs of improvement. That’s the attitude of many when confronted with what is before them. What’s wrong? Why is it so hard to find a consensus on what’s the right thing to do?
Its frustration left, right and centre. It’s the little things that people do or don’t do that have a major impact on integrity. A waste of time, everywhere you turn, it’s a tale of woe—everybody doing the wrong thing. How do we put a stop to the feeling that doing the right thing is a waste of time?
As frustrated as I may feel from time to time from where I sit, all I see is infinite possibilities. There is no doubt in my mind. In fact I choose to banish doubt. Even though the evidence is becoming stronger daily that we are too far down the descent, I believe there is a solution.
All we need to do is surmount the challenge. What challenge? The big challenge is in reality a simple one, close the gap. What gap? The big distance between what leaders say and what they do. Distance here is a synonym for gap.
We have to stop minding the gap. It’s time to close the gap. Not tomorrow, not at some time in the near or distant future but in the present moment.
Close the gap even if everyone is calling for a different choice or decision. We just have to stand up for what we believe to be the right thing to do.
There is a public commitment to transparency, accountability, integrity and ethical behaviour. We can’t espouse integrity as talk but act diametrically opposite. If permissiveness is good enough for some then maybe it should be the same for everyone else. That’s rather cynical isn’t it?
Sometimes it looks like the gap is closing and then other times it actually looks like it’s getting wider.
Why is it difficult to remain loyal to core values such as integrity, fair play and teamwork?
Do we need core values? Gone are the days when we knew the difference between right and wrong, now there are shades and degrees of right and wrong, and it’s situational.
We have to try and close the gap. Unless there is a commitment to the core values the likely of a job well done is minimal.
Values and mission go hand in hand. They set the stage.
If we want to build a nation and a society that know how to behave, trusts itself and where people trust one another, values such as integrity have to matter.
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