Wednesday, March 25, 2009 |

“I'm not finished! As I came in here, I heard those words...cradle of leadership. Well, when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall. And it has fallen here, it has fallen! Makers of men, creators of leaders, be careful what kind of leaders you're producing here. I don't know if Charlie's silence here today is right or wrong; I'm no judge or jury. But I can tell you this; he won't sell anybody out to buy his future! And that, my friends, is called integrity. That's called courage. Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard. Now here's Charlie; he's come to the crossroads. He has chosen a path. It's the right path. It's a path made of principle, that leads to character. Let him continue on his journey. You hold this boy's future in your hands, committee! It's a valuable future. Believe me! Don't destroy it...protect it...embrace it. It's gonna make you proud one day...I promise you.”

This is a quote from one of my favorite movies “The scent of a woman”.

I particularly like those lines in bold which I feel is ringing louder than ever before in our society. Today, as we hear disgruntling noises from people about our country losing its culture, of our country succumbing to the economic recession…etc, I cant help thinking whether we are facing issues bigger than that. For instance as we fast turn into a consumerist society trampling over each other in the mad race to have the better job or the bigger house or the fancier car, we sometimes unknowingly break those very path mentioned in the quote above…the path of principles.

Its hard to notice that we are even breaking a few of em because some of them have blurred the lines of what’s wrong and what’s right.. Now we have certain principles that can be broken and yet acceptable because they are of a lesser crime… Like the fake bills many folks submit for reimbursement in your companies or fictional expenses mentioned for tax filing. Recently I met one guy who did that without as much a pinch of guilt about it.. And when I expressed disappointment though not verbally but in those intentional...uh’s and oh’s…He ridiculed me that I was afraid !! Yes, I am afraid of doing something like that, but more than that I hold it as a dear principle not to do something like that…There is the clichéd reasoning ‘everyone does it!!’.

When I was a kid, I used to lie as much as a normal teenager would do…I lied about my scores in school…I lied about my expenses for the extra money…and I have been caught as many times too…You know with the kind of maturity I had those days, I wondered then...’What’s the big deal about a little lie…’. But then every time I was caught I remember the look on my mom’s face when she was evidently sad about what I did… Sure. I did not care a hoot about lying those days… But as I grew older I knew somewhere that something was wrong…I was afraid of falling into a vicious trap of lying and again lying to cover it up….of cheating and again cheating to cover the little cheat…

‘Everyone does it’

hmm… the alibi which never fails and a self assuring reasoning everyone says before doing a wrong… When you or me guffaw at the state of affairs…of the financial scams…probably it is imperative for us to think of how principled are we about the little things before we point fingers at the bigger ones..

It would be prudent to realize that what we are facing now is a recession in the conscience levels of society….where values of integrity..honesty...and principles are dimnishing each day...And there is no one coming out with a bailout package for that coz you are the one who has to pull yourself out!

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