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16-11-2010, 09:30 AM
 
Hey Proofreaders!
I'm giving a presentation on integrity for a training class at work on Friday. I can't usually come up with good talking points unless I write. My brain takes a while to get going. Anyway, here's a short essay I devised to get things going. Tell me what you think and be brutally honest.



An ancient Chinese proverb, often falsely attributed to one of my favorite wordsmiths, Mark Twain, translates into the statement, “Laws control the lesser man. Integrity controls the greater one.” The question arises, do we really need special instructions to act with integrity? Do we need to be told not to lie, cheat, or steal? There’s an age-old argument discussing where we obtain our morals. Many people believe we are given them through our families as a tradition of mutual respect. Others believe religion is responsible for the origin of morals. Some believe that our biology itself creates morals as a response to anger and frustration when we are done wrong. Therefore creating social guidelines within our humanity in order to maintain civility.
While the genesis of integrity is important and always up for debate, it may never be resolved. I believe the more important and more relevant issue is when, where, and how often we use it. Is the giving spirit strictly for the holidays? If we find twenty dollars on the ground in a crowded store, do we pocket it or ask around to find the owner? If we see something about to go wrong, do we tell someone about it or avoid making waves? These thoughts have surely crossed all of our minds.
In this field of work, I believe integrity is the one moral characteristic that cannot and should not be compromised. Far too many people depend upon our honesty in order to simply get through the day. Once our sense of right and wrong is muddled, a slippery slope follows. If you fail to do the right thing, trust may be lost. If trust is lost, a good working relationship can quickly turn into a daily nightmare. You will quickly be remembered as the person who did someone wrong.
The fact that we are mortal beings should drive us to exude a positive moral personae. Sadly, we will leave this Earth one day. Ultimately, how do we want to be remembered? Our integrity, loyalty, and sense of duty will define us long after we’re gone. At our funerals, we can have a multitude of people stand up in our wake and say, “He was the greatest person I have ever known. The world would be a better place with more like him.” Or, to paraphrase comedian Bill Burr, we could have one person show up and say, “Well, um… he always paid his phone bill on time.”
In short, integrity is best defined as who we are when no one is looking. Leading by example should be the ultimate goal in any profession. You don’t need to be a hard-nosed dictator always jumping on someone’s case. All you have to do is show up on time, do what you’re supposed to do, help out others, pick up slack if needed, and do what you say you’re going to do. It’s really not that difficult. Honestly, I find this class to be a little extraneous since I believe we are all smart enough to not need special training to tell us not to be jerks.


Also, what are your personal thoughts on integrity? Personally, I'm for it. Hahaha.
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16-11-2010, 10:24 AM
RE: Hey Proofreaders!
My first comment would be that this is very good, but does need some minor editing. One item, you should properly attribute one of your quotes.

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking. -- H. Jackson Brown

Next, I was taught that all presentations need an introduction and a wrap up that highlights the points made. You could easily fix both with a simple sentence at either end.

Speaking of ends, I would cut the whole last sentence. Or at least retool it so it's not critical of the class.
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16-11-2010, 10:47 AM
 
RE: Hey Proofreaders!
Thanks.

Honestly, I didn't even know that one was a quote. It was just always something I heard from my folks. I guess they're smarter than I thought.

I agree, I'll probably go ahead and eliminate (or rework) the last sentence. I don't mean it to be critical of the class, but I can see how it would be taken that way.
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16-11-2010, 11:51 AM
RE: Hey Proofreaders!
It looks really good to me. It is, however, very short. It may not seem like it, but to your audience it will likely seem as though it's incomplete (Time yourself delivering it). Gamut is right about an intro/ending. I love your first line, but shortly after that I'd take Gamuts advice and briefly touch on a couple points you will address. Same with the end. Just sum things up in a sentence or two.

Your use of humor "he always paid his phone bill on time" is good too. I'd try to add one more bit of humor, and use one piece close to the beginning, and one close to the end. Humor gets people to listen. By using a piece at the beginning, it catches their attention, and by using one right before your closing, it pulls them back for your summary and leaves them with a positive attitude.

Good job. Looks like it's coming along nicely.

Just visiting.

-SR
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16-11-2010, 12:05 PM
 
RE: Hey Proofreaders!
Again, thanks.

The reason it is so short is because I only have 30 minutes to get in there, do my presentation and get out. I also plan on having some talking points and maybe an activity to go along with reading this.
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18-11-2010, 09:29 PM
RE: Hey Proofreaders!
(16-11-2010 09:30 AM)tjenkins_1983 Wrote:  
Therefore creating social guidelines within our humanity in order to maintain civility.

Sorry, grammar police here Tongue This is an incomplete sentence; I'd recommend fixing it.

That's all I have to add Smile

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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