Integrity is Everything

By Fuana Tmarsel

“Loosing people’s trust is like breaking a glass bowl,” said a friend, “once it is broken, it is hard to repair. If you manage to glue it back together, the cracks will remain and will continually remind everyone that it once broke.” This metaphor serves to remind us that integrity is very important- what we do, and say whether alone or in company of others is very important, because it is hard to gain back trust after it is lost.

On the outside Senator John Edwards had a perfect marriage, and perfect family life. Secretly he, sired a baby with another woman, and persuaded one of his aides to cover up the affair to protect his then ailing wife Elizabeth, as well as, his political career- he was a presidential hopeful. He and his close friends and supporters felt that the truth will ruin them and so they decided to withhold it from the public. They were right – the truth ruined his marriage and his political career. He not only lost the trust and confidence of the people, he lost the wife whom he had loved for many years.

Another person whose lack of integrity destroyed his career is Eliot Splitzer, the governor who was to bring ethics back to New York. That was what people saw. The life he hid from public eye was just the opposite. He utilized the prostitution services of Emperor’s Club VIP- which charges well-to-do clients up to $5,500 an hour services of models turned call girls. He resigned from his post to avoid more problems.

And then there was Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina whose widely publicized affair with an Argentinian broker ruined his career and marriage. His wife of 20 years divorced him, unable to rebuild the trust, though she tried.

These three cases can be liken to a bowl that cannot be put back together- perhaps the chips within the cracks suffered too much blow making restoration impossible (so it is without God’s intervention). They will have to rebuild in a new bowl, or try to patch up the cracks well as to render them invisible to the naked eye. Either way, the road to that Public Trust will be long and hard to climb – not to mention the broken hearts that will require years to mend.

I had wondered what Palauans would do with the Edwards, Splitzers and Sanfords amongst us. Would they be compelled to step down knowing that their actions constitute abuse of public office? Would the public still trust in them despite obvious lack of integrity? Would the aide justify their perversity? Or would the people grin and say, “he is a dutiful hubby – the wife always contributes big money in the customs, so she shouldn’t complain, and just grin and bear it.

It is true money and power can fortify us from the public eye. Perhaps the newspaper will not print it, and perhaps the spouse will stand by grinning and bearing it all the way – pretending not to see what everybody sees, nor hear what everyone sees, but it is written, your sin will find you out. And it will! Whether you be fisherman or president, a housewife or first lady – a man is only a man after all!

2 Comments to “Integrity is Everything”

  1. I am not interested in what JT does as a person behind closed doors. What he presumably did using the powers of a public office should be sanctioned, should Melani’s allegations prove truthful.

    Why aren’t the rest of our leaders (OEK) demanding investigation and accountability assertions?

    Have we become so crippled by the sheer lack of respect and performance from this President that we’re not caring to ascertain whether one of our own child was indeed violated by this President?

  2. Alii Raul,
    I had not read your comments until today – 2 years and 2 months later (sorry). Let me first say that I appreciate your comments as it educates and spurs more thoughts into the subject matters. I had not heard of allegations involving our President before the submission of my article. One of those weird coincidence- and I never meant to comment on our President’s behavior re. that matter whether real or not. However, you raise a good point – often we fear to “investigate” the sins of people lest we be found out. Al be bil eng ketom a ngered le kid me kede dirrek el meruul a osisiu. Sulang.

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