It’s the last day of Ramtegrity Week 2016 and in the five days we’ve been talking about integrity on campus, we’ve seen a lot of great examples of our students and faculty leading by modeling integrity and talking about its importance.
Unfortunately, in the same five days, we have seen multiple examples of public figures and private citizen who haven’t modeled integrity. Negative models are important. They help us see where we don’t want to go and how we don’t want to behave. However, if we aspire to something more than simply not getting into trouble, we need something more.
Human beings need models. Plutarch understood this. I’m not a religion scholar, but I think it’s safe to say that all religious texts do too. Models of character, virtue, and, yes, integrity show us the way down the path. They give us something to aspire to even when all we can see are the negative examples that are in the world around us.
On our last day of Ramtegrity Week, I charge all of you with the responsibility to set the standard, to act with integrity in any situation or community in which you find yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s being the beacon in your family or as a member of a civic organization in your town. Show others the way, hold yourself accountable, and encourage those around you to do the same.