THE WEEK OF INTEGRITYIntegrity is vital to establishing trust in both personal and business relationships and therefore creates a reputation of reliability and fairness. The Week of Integrity, held every December’s first week, is the annual multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to foster the exchange of knowledge and stimulate the debate on integrity in the workplace and in the boardroom, at all types of organizations. The Week of Integrity should be an opportunity to promote honest dialogue about integrity.
INTEGRITY IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA ERAHaving the integrity to stand your ground and behind your principles in this era of extreme social media influence is challenging for many. It is very easy for those with influence to change the narrative of what is right and turn it to the other side. It’s easy because no one bothers to check for the truth or the facts anymore. They make it easy to perform online character assassination to scare the targeted and keep them quiet. People with no integrity easily change their stances on issues to benefit their position. People with integrity often remain the same even when the situation is against them but benefits the majority. People with no integrity go along with the flow of what is currently acceptable to say on mainstream and are unable to be part of constructive discussion.
INTEGRITY DURING THE PANDEMICSometimes they go to the extremes of shutting down the discussion by discrediting those who are willing to talk through online character assassinations that most of the time are based on gossip and lies. We have seen clear examples during the COVID pandemic of renowned doctors who have been silenced because they dared to question the methods of handling the pandemic through the Great Barrington declaration. Methods such as the lockdowns that we now know did have severe consequences on people’s behavior. According to the Johns Hopkins Study, the following should have been considered:
“People respond to dangers outside their door” When a pandemic rages, people believe in social distancing regardless of what the government mandates.
“Mandates only regulate a fraction of our potential contagious contacts and can hardly regulate nor enforce handwashing, coughing etiquette, distancing in supermarkets, etc.” People rapidly learn what is effective and what is not.
“Even if lockdowns are successful in initially reducing the spread of COVID-19, the behavioral response may counteract the effect completely, as people respond to the lower risk by changing behavior.”
“Unintended consequences may play a larger role than recognized, often, lockdowns have limited peoples’ access to safe (outdoor) places such as beaches, parks, and zoos, or included outdoor mask mandates or strict outdoor gathering restrictions, pushing people to meet at less safe (indoor) places.”
NO TRANSPARENCY NO TRUSTIt’s hard to carry integrity and ethics when there is no transparency and trust and unfortunately, it is a behavioral occurrence that everyone sees but chooses to ignore and even support. It’s hard to talk about pollution that has a significant impact without addressing the large polluters, the 1%, and the military. While the common people are asked to fly less and drive electric cars the 1% still use transport traditionally and continue to live their life as they used to. Bomb testing and bomb attacks bring significant negative consequences on ground level, water, and air, yet I’ve never seen a protest against it in the mainstream.
NO OPEN DIALOGUEOne of the biggest recent natural disasters, the 2022 Nord Stream pipeline sabotage is barely addressed in the mainstream in the context of ecological news and its devastating consequences on sea life. Why is that? It’s hard to talk about green energy when discussions about challenges to the accepted green alternatives are dismissed. Examples include the disposal and/or recycling of windmills and solar panels and the handling of obsolete EV batteries and other electronics. Sooner or later, we will have to deal with these waste issues and unfortunately, it seems that they will be handled when the problem becomes unimaginable. It’s hard to talk about green energy without discussing other alternatives such as nuclear and bio-energy. It’s hard to talk about green energy when flora and fauna are destroyed to build the space for green energy projects. It seems as if the conservation and regeneration of nature have lost its importance in the environmental debate. Cows are not the problem. The methane they emit is part of a biogenic cycle. The alternative proposed to real meat “Labmeat” will increase the demand for land for feedstock and will increase emissions even more. Unfortunately, honest discussions about these topics are constantly avoided. It’s hard to talk about climate change when human rights are violated. It’s heartbreaking to see people prioritize certain green projects that do not necessarily preserve nature over social economic projects that could improve the lives of the poor. Especially when these green projects are not concretely preserving the environment and its natural progression but rather destroying it. These projects contribute to the corruption of agriculture and food systems compared to other green projects focused on regenerative organic agriculture of smallholder family farms, which produces more health and wealth per acre. It’s hard to talk about human rights in favor of a specific group of people when many other groups have been dealing with decades of abuse and neglect. It’s hard to talk about ethics when politicians and their family members are allowed to make significant business deals because of their position and influence. There seems to be an unwillingness to openly discuss and have a productive dialogue on several issues. What does this say about the integrity of the people involved in these discussions? When there is no open dialogue to explore the pros and cons, when there is no certainty about the truth because there is no transparency, How do we expect people to trust anything anymore?
No open dialogue, no transparency, no trust.