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Risking Failure Is An Integrity Test

Would you follow you?

What if everyone else is cheating on the test? Let’s face it, if you are the only person choosing to exercise Integrity, you might put yourself at a disadvantage. Cheating runs rampant in our education system, despite the honor codes and ethics classes. The sad reality is this happens with more than just kids. In 2007, Justin Pope from the Associated Press reported startling numbers:

Graduate school students who admit to cheating:

  • 56 percent of MBA students

  • 54 percent of Masters in Engineering

  • 48 percent of Masters in Education

  • 45 percent of law school students

Imagine it is 2007. If half of the students who received advanced degrees were willing to cheat to get better grades, where are these people now? If they were cheating in their twenties, what are the odds they are cheating in their thirties and forties? These individuals are our leaders in business, engineering, education and the criminal justice system.

Dishonesty is contagious. Our Integrity is tested when we see others cheat to get ahead. What will we do? Is there any reward for standing alone and exercising Integrity when we are surrounded by people who are too scared or prideful to risk failure?

Sometimes there are no external rewards for exercising Integrity. Sometimes the cheater will get the better grade, get the promotion or win the election. Our reward must come from some