2021 GS4 Answer

Q. “Integrity is a value that empowers the human being.” Justify with suitable illustration.

Question from UPSC Mains 2021 GS4 Paper

Model Answer: 

Integrity: Empowering Individuals

Integrity is a value that empowers the human being by guiding one’s actions and decisions according to a consistent set of moral and ethical principles. When individuals adhere to the principles of integrity, they demonstrate honesty, trustworthiness, and strong moral character. This value promotes responsibility, accountability, and respect for oneself and others.

To illustrate the importance of integrity and how it empowers individuals, let us consider the story of an employee in a company. We will call him John.

The Story of John: Upholding Integrity in the Workplace

John is a dedicated and hardworking employee who consistently produces quality work. One day, his manager asks him to falsify a report to make the company appear more profitable to shareholders. John is aware that doing so would compromise his integrity and the trust of his colleagues and clients. He understands that by maintaining his integrity, he is upholding the principles of honesty and transparency, which are crucial for the success and reputation of the company.

Despite the potential short-term benefits of falsifying the report, John decides to stand by his principles and refuses to comply with his manager’s request. His actions are noticed by the company’s senior management, who appreciate his commitment to ethical behavior. As a result, John’s reputation within the company is strengthened, and he is promoted to a higher position with more responsibilities.

Empowering Effects of Integrity

This example illustrates how integrity empowers individuals by:

  • Fostering trust and respect: By standing firm in his principles, John earned the trust and respect of his colleagues and superiors. Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, whether personal or professional, and respect encourages a positive work environment.
  • Building self-esteem and confidence: By refusing to compromise his integrity, John demonstrated his self-worth and commitment to ethical behavior. This act of courage and conviction bolstered his self-esteem and confidence, making him a stronger individual.
  • Encouraging personal growth and development: John’s decision to uphold his integrity served as a catalyst for his professional growth, leading to increased responsibilities and opportunities within the company.
  • Promoting ethical behavior: John’s actions set a positive example for his colleagues, fostering an ethical work culture and inspiring others to maintain their integrity.

In conclusion, integrity is a value that empowers the human being by fostering trust, respect, self-esteem, and ethical behavior. By adhering to a consistent set of moral and ethical principles, individuals can navigate the complexities of life with confidence and contribute positively to their personal and professional environments.

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