During 1930′s, a young boy had become obsessed with eating sugar. His mother was very upset with this. But no matter how much she scolded him and tried to break his habit, he continued to satisfy his sweet tooth.
Totally frustrated, she decided to take her son to see his idol – Mahatma Gandhi; perhaps her son would listen to him.
She walked miles, for hours under scorching sun to finally reach Gandhi’s ashram. There, she shared with Gandhi her predicament.
“Bapu, my son eats too much sugar. It is not good for his health. Would you please advise him to stop eating it?”
Gandhi listened to the woman carefully, thought for a while and replied,
“Please come back after two weeks. I will talk to your son.”
The woman looked perplexed and wondered why had he not asked the boy to stop eating sugar right away. She took the boy by the hand and went home.
Two weeks later they revisited Gandhi. Gandhi looked directly at the boy and said,
“Boy, you should stop eating sugar. It is not good for your health.”
The boy nodded and promised he would not continue this habit any longer.
The boy’s mother was puzzled. She turned to Gandhi and asked,
“Bapu, Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I brought him here to see you?”
Gandhi smiled, “Mother, two weeks ago I was eating a lot of sugar myself.”
Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that integrity regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.
The word “integrity” stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete).
In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character.
As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.