By Glory Eyo
A greater percentage of Nigerians handle their integrity with levity, forgetting the depth and the degree of the effect it has on their posterity. Some even bear it as name; others find it so common to make reference to. Come to think of it, what is this integrity? Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary defined it as “the state of being honest and having strong moral principles” either personally, professional or elastically. It is also seen as the state of being whole and not divided. An extract from wiktionary also defined integrity to be “steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.
For one to be named after integrity, the bearer must have devoted his life to strong moral core values, submissive to professional code of conduct, societal moral standards and supremely divine laws. He must have been a lover of peace and unity, trustworthy and dependable, selfless and understanding. Hater of strife and discord, fighter of greediness, jealousy and pride. A person also who have human sympathy, who is optimistic in other people’s progress. Who prefers reward to worthily gain and wealth of affliction. To mention but few, a man of integrity is an easy but value-oriented, virtue possessing and respect.
Using “man” in this context cuts across both gender and diverse age grade with no specification on religious profession or educational attainment. Just pause here and ask yourself, “do I possess the above qualities? If yes, “am I handling them with levity? Do they have any effect on my posterity? And if no, it means you are doing the obverse line, and by this, what are the chances on your posterity?
Posterity simply according to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines it as “all the people who will live in the future”, meaning those coming after you. Your generation yet unborn, the younger generation still naïve of life. What then is the affiliation between integrity and posterity? Of course you should know that anything you do, falling short of the above mentioned qualities amount to vices against virtue, falsehood against faithfulness, shortcuts against standard, immoral against moral, self against sense, vanity against where they have being looking for ways to recompense the man’s work and influence in the company. Guess the possible, just mentioning her name alone was enough reference to the lasting effect of the father’s influence and contribution to the company and she was treated in respect and honour for want of appropriate measure to which her father’s integrity could be measured or weighed.
What if her father was a fraudster in the company? What if he was an embezzler? What if he was a selfish fellow, a greedy being, a dishonest worker, a liar, a rebellious staff, hate of progress and peace? What if he plotted for his colleague’s downfall? What if he spoke evil of authority? What if he was an occutic fellow? What is he was an oppressor? Remember, Christians, how God will always say to the children of Israel, “for David, my servant’s sake” whenever He wants to punish them for their evil deeds and would pardon them because of David’s integrity with God.
Man, how will your posterity live to ever feel your impact? Remember King Ahab in the Holy Book, God said, “Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and I will take away thy posterity, and I will cut off from Ahab Him what pisseth against the will and him that is shut up and left in Israel, And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nabat and like the house of Baasha the soon of Ahijah, for the Provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger and made Israel to sin… seest thou Ahab humbleth himself before me. I will not bring the evil in his days: BUT IN HIS SON’S DAYS WILL I BRING THE EVIL UPON HIS HOUSE” I kings 21:21,22 and 29 (KJV). Evil that men do do not only live with them, but live after them.
Why do we keep blaming Adam and Eve for our sin problem even after the provision of salvation? it is because they were faulty. Ignorance of the longevity of the effect of unmaintained, uncontrolled and unpreserved integrity. They might have also pre-conceived the slogan “man die go, women born another” or maybe they did not know that they were experimenting their posterity. Oh! What a costly, careless unimagined abuse of integrity?
Well, man, it is not too late for you, you can begin to experiment your posterity now, and how it will be like. You can make your next generation proud, when you believe that integrity and posterity are interwoven, that they are in tandem with each other.
Yes! You can change your orientation about life. You can make a difference. You can be a lily in the mire. You can live above self, above pride, above covetousness, above voices, above sentiment, above strife, above fear, as posterity will not forgive you.