Holding on to honesty, integrity

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Posted on May 20, 2005

Bailey Porter
Editor-in-Chief

One of the most important virtues to have a good hold on is honesty. It’s a relatively simple concept that many people cannot seem to grasp.

Something as easy as being true to your word holds honest people up with such integrity and leaves those unfortunate dishonest people crawling along on the floor.

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At times it might seem that dishonesty, smooth talking and manipulating gets people ahead. Don’t feel discouraged; it won’t last long.

Those of us who understand the importance and value of honesty will hope these mistaken individuals get their acts together eventually if for no other reason than to preserve the feelings of those unsuspecting fools who will surely come along after us and fall for the same lies or games. And, hey, if they don’t learn the error of their ways well then we bitterly hope they remain slithering under our feet.

Sure there are times when a little fib does more good than telling the truth. But this option is acceptable in order to spare someone’s feelings about inconsequential things not important ones.

Maybe some people choose to sprinkle their dialogue with little lies, exaggerations or half-truths because they are so wrapped up in playing the game – at work, in relationships and in daily life – that they can’t take a step back, realize how they’re treating others or understand that others are not playing along.

People who cannot be honest with others are not being honest with themselves and don’t have a strong enough command of who they are to be able to know what they want from life and from others.

Now, if it were all that bad none of us would ever grow to fully trust anyone. There’s already enough of that fear and uncertainty in the world with varieties in language (even within English), religion, upbringing and socioeconomic status that separates us, categorizes us and prevents us from really living.

Fortunately, we can sleep better at night knowing not all people are out for themselves, thinking only of ways to make themselves feel better or get ahead at work by flexing their power.

Sometimes you meet someone for an instant and their sincerity shines through and you just want to keep talking, to get to know this person.

Sure, in the back of your mind you catch yourself wondering if this is legitimate. But then it’s not worth it to go through life constantly questioning motives and character.

Then you see clearly, and it’s refreshing to really see other honest, genuine people.

Honesty is important in all aspects of life, career and otherwise.

In journalism, the public counts on our integrity. Sometimes mistakes are made. But there is also an element to journalism that is very straightforward.

You don’t have to read between the lines, well, not all the time.

You will know if you are reading an opinion piece or an objective story. Programs on the radio, television and in print will generally let you know right away if it is left, right or center of the political spectrum or where the writer is coming from ideologically.

If only life outside of journalism was that easy.

Nevertheless, as many of us graduate from the University of La Verne next week and the rest of us make plans to start classes again in the fall, we can hold ourselves up by always being true to ourselves.

Be honest. Expect honesty from others, and no matter what career you end up in or relationships you have with others you will be ok. And those around you will thank you for it.

Bailey Porter, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at porterb@ulv.edu.