Preserving integrity in a winner-take-all world

April 6, 2017 By    

Image: iStock

I have grandchildren, whom I firmly and without question will correct when their actions are unacceptable.

They are molded by their parents, teachers and others who reside in both the direct and the subliminal mentoring sphere. Regardless, as a nation, we are losing this age-old battle against “unbecoming conduct” that ultimately defines generational integrity.

This proclamation, while largely defined by the politics in America of late, has nothing to do with your views on the political left or the political right. It has everything to do with an exponential rise in what was once considered unspeakably unacceptable, or unbecoming conduct, by any talking head with an agenda.

It does not matter where you stand ideologically. In the past, firm but civil discourse on differences is what drove American success and forward motion. What matters is this new normal and the viral abandonment of civil discourse that columnist Edward Morrissey describes as fanatical tribalism that is eradicating and replacing substantive, honest debate.

There can be no integrity when integrity is laid to waste in winner-take-all tribalism. There can be no future for integrity when our generational future accepts unbecoming conduct as the rule.

We can blame social media for creating a smaller world where unbecoming conduct is not held accountable and overwhelms integrity. But we have only ourselves to hold accountable for succumbing to it.


Jim Olson is a territory manager for Westmor Industries.

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