“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” – Samuel Johnson. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. It is not just related to honesty but encompasses the entire range of moral values and also includes the strength to stand firmly to protect these values, morals and principles. However the moment we are born, the first thing we acquire is knowledge and not integrity. We survive based on the knowledge and its application. But as the quote suggests what use it is to possess something devoid of good virtues? It’s worth exploring the importance of knowledge and integrity.
Knowledge is more important –
1. There nothing that can express the value of knowledge as aptly as the quote “Knowledge is Power”. Everything boils down to knowledge and its application.
2. It is needed for survival. Knowledge has helped man to conquer the nature and this has led to human progress.
3. Knowledge has helped us survive far longer than we should, and also prevented us from repeating the mistakes of the past.
4. In life, we constantly face problems, almost every day. It is knowledge which helps us to overcome them and not integrity. With knowledge, we can improve our abilities of thinking critically.
5. Knowledge never slows down a process or decision. But integrity can cause delays in times of crisis especially if the approach taken to resolve the crisis is on the verge of being unethical.
6. Sometimes harsh decisions give a perfect result but need compromises on the integrity. But compromising on knowledge never gives the best result.
7. Knowledge makes us understand what exactly integrity is.
Integrity is more important –
1. “What is left when honor is lost?” – Publilius Syrus. Thus gaining integrity and morals is more important than knowledge.
2. Education is not just about grades, but more about gaining valuable knowledge and morals as it is these morals that help to live amicably with others. Society survives and continues due to concerted efforts of people and only integrity and morals help in long term cooperation.
3. We consider knowledge important for survival. However in today’s world, with all the people being educated, it is the integrity which is becoming more precious.
4. When we have integrity, we gain the trust of others. In a world characterized by trust-deficit, getting trusted by others, ranks higher than knowledge without integrity.
5. People with high integrity never have to look over their shoulder for anything they’ve done. They don’t need to doubt themselves or take efforts to hide things as they are openly honest about their acts and thoughts.
6. It is said that it is difficult to earn respect, but it is most difficult to maintain it. Knowledge can earn you respect, but only integrity can maintain it. A scholar with no integrity has no standing in the society.
7. Knowledge may get you the job, but integrity helps in maintaining and advancing in it. A person’s integrity makes sure that he/she achieves excellence in whatever he/she does. Thus integrity attracts responsibilities more important than held earlier. This is a measure of success as more important responsibilities means more faith and that means more valuable the person becomes.
Nowadays along with knowledge, the employers are looking increasingly towards the integrity of an individual. There is a new term in minds of employers called ‘Employability’. Employability is not the same as qualifications or specialist experience. It gives more focus on personal values, ethics and morals of an individual; and amongst all these, integrity is given prime importance. One must strive to acquire knowledge as well as strengthen one’s integrity as only integrity lasts and is remembered forever.