Integrity Matters
June 28, 2006

Government practices don't violate integrity

Question: (E-246)

Dear Jim:

The government is tapping phone lines and monitoring internet activities; while roadside cameras spy as we drive. Are such practices violating integrity?


No! The architects of rigorous intrusions into our lives are often the same people we charge with keeping us safe and secure. The trend toward the selfishness: internet-bullies and cyber-clods, exploit others with wholesale disregard for privacy. Internet pedophiles seduce, rape, and murder children.

Terrorists use cellular phones to detonate bombs. Egotistical drivers turn scenic highways into killing fields with road rage.

Reality-based television programs boil over into filthy language and fighting; ostensibly meeting a market demand for cesspool behavior.

It should be common knowledge that unless we operate with integrity, including self-regulation, society will demand increasing government oversight. When individuals choose to ignore constructive boundaries, then power-wielding authorities will carry-out intrusive monitoring to the cheers of many.

Disregard for others encourages the creeping hand of intrusion, strangling freedoms previously taken for granted. Unfortunately, non-thinking individuals regularly trade freedom for security, at least, short term. Television program hosts Jerry Springer and Maury Povich have replaced conversation with screaming - lavishly rewarding a behavioral model that now witnesses 10-year-olds using semi-automatic weapons to solve playground arguments.

Violence begins with an idea and ends with death, and it must be stopped. Invasion of privacy, in the name of security, is a trend that will be difficult to reverse until society is prepared to self-regulate through such integrity-centered behaviors as character, openness, honesty, graciousness and civility.

Respect for others will displace a culture of "me first" when more individuals stop cheating at work and home.

Office computers are for work, not games. The telephone at work is for connecting with customers and prospects, not "chatting" with friends.

Home is where "true partners" support one another, through thick and thin; honoring commitments of mutual-support and fidelity.

We're all obligated to police personal and business environments, monitoring and controlling guests who visit there.

If you lock your doors before you leave home, then why not do the same with the televisions and computers that open your home to potentially hideous intruders?

Demand that public servants, elected and appointed, work to combat destructive activities - on streets, in neighborhoods, through television and the internet; and, yes, inside their own agencies.

Support constructive values by challenging destructive behaviors when and where they occur - promptly, clearly and graciously.

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