Monday, December 31, 2012

The time is always right to do right

The time is always right to do right
By The Post
Mon 31 Dec. 2012, 14:00 CAT

If we don't change our attitude, as a people, as a nation, towards corruption, the scourge will be with us for a very long time.

We have corruption today because we tolerate it. We have religious leaders defending corrupt elements; we have political leaders defending corrupt political allies; and we have civil society organisations keeping quiet about the corruption of certain people they favour.

We have families that are not doing anything about their corrupt members. Instead, they are sharing in the benefits of corruption they bring.

There is corruption around us but we are not disturbed in the same way we would be made uncomfortable if sewer was brought near us, yet corruption is equally dirty and stinking.

More harm has been done by weak people than the wicked. By remaining weak in the face of corruption, we are aiding it. Most of the problems in this world have been caused by the weaknesses of good rather than the strength of evil.

One doesn't need to directly steal to be on the side of corruption, of wrongdoing. Abating corruption is in some way participating in it.

Being an accomplice is as good as putting one's fingers in the till, in the corruption.

We cannot claim to be against corruption, to be fighting corruption when we are at the same time abating it. Turning a blind eye to corruption is encouraging corruption. One who is convinced about the evils and dangers of corruption cannot behave in such a way, cannot ignore corruption when he or she sees it.

Those who pay bribes cannot claim to be against corruption. But there are people who think paying a bribe is not corruption. Paying a bribe and receiving a bribe are not very different - they are both corrupt practices.

Those who pay bribes facilitate and perpetuate an already dysfunctional system and they are therefore corrupt. There is need to avoid corruption at all costs and condemn it whenever and wherever we see it. Corruption destroys the social structures. We all therefore have a duty to promote transparency, accountability and honesty in society.

The true measure of a person is in his or her height of ideals, the breadth of his or her sympathy, the depth of his or her convictions, and the length of his or her patience. Consider what the book of James says: "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin."

Corruption is a sin and has drastic evil effects. Corruption is robbing our nation of scarce resources.

It is said that of all the paths a man could strike onto, there is, at any given moment, a best path, a thing which here and now, if it were of all things wisest for him to do, to find his path and walk in it.

The right train of thought will take you to a better station in life. Eddie Rickenbacker encouraged us to "think positively and masterly, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience." If you want greatness, forget greatness and earnestly pursue God's will. Then you will find both.

John Wooden admonished, "Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of being." Harold Taylor said, "The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become." Elevate your personal standards of quality. To whatever you thought was good enough for now, add ten per cent. Stand for what is right, then you win, even if you "lose".

The biggest mistake you can make in life is not to be true to the best you know. George Bernard Shaw remarked, "Keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world." Follow Ralph Sockman's advice: "Give the best that you have to the highest you know - and do it now."

The time is always right to do the right thing. But we watch wrongdoing around us as if we are helpless. We know of friends who are corrupt, who have been stealing public resources but we have done nothing about it.

We have not even attempted to tell them to stop it. We know very well that corruption is a serious crime against the whole nation, but we have never dared to report our corrupt friends and relatives to the law enforcement agencies for arrest and prosecution. Why? Is it because we are not concerned about corruption because we don't see it to be such a serious crime?

There is so much talk about corruption, so much rhetoric about corruption but no action or very little action against it. Actions matter because all actions have consequences. Some consequences may be small. Some may be earth-shattering. Regardless, everything we do, every action we take, in some way affects ourselves, our environment, or the lives of others. For good or for ill, our actions define and shape us.

None of us lives in a vacuum. Our actions don't only affect us. They also affect others for days, centuries, or millennia to come. After all, it was the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, that led to original sin. They messed up, and the fruits of that were passed down to their children and every other human being who has since walked the face of this earth.

Their actions had consequences that will last long past the day the sun stops shining.

Our actions can do the same, even if not quite on such a grand scale. Both our good works and our bad works live on. Through the effect they have on others, they travel into history.

When you are a leader, those effects are amplified even more. Perform enough of those right or wrong actions, and it's not just yourself or one other person you affect, but the entire culture of your environment.

Our willingness to make questionable business deals will create a culture of dishonesty within the institutions we work for. Corruption will be covered up, figures manufactured, and office supplies abused, or worse, filched.

What it comes down to is that if you can't have an honest nation, you have to act honestly and diligently yourself. So what you do had better be right.

There is no need to engage in wrongdoing, in corruption. There is no need to abate wrongdoing or corruption. Wrongdoing, corruption has to be fought. The time is always right to do the right thing. Have we demanded enough of ourselves in the fight against corruption and by our example inspired those around us to put forth their best effort in the fight against corruption

Corruption persists because good people are tolerating it, are doing nothing or very little about it. And little by little, the good people cross over to the bad side and become corrupt. No one came into this world corrupt. Everyone starts off as a good person. If you don't fight corruption, corruption will, in one way or another, get to you. If you will not be infected with corruption, you will be affected if you tolerate it and allow it to take root.

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