Nowadays many people began to forget such word and moral merit like “integrity”. But what does it mean integrity? Word integrity has two main meanings. Let’s look in well-known Oxford Dictionary. First is: the state of being whole and undivided. We use integrity in this meaning to describe territorial unity. It’s evolved from Latin word “integer” meaning whole or complete. But we are interested in second one. Most of us understand under this word such things like honesty, directness, probity, principles, etc.
Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. In my understanding integrity - is the main moral quality, because it includes moral principles, beliefs, and actions – all main values of a person. Integrity is when you honest with yourself. Integrity means that you adhere your moral principles nevertheless, even if you know it can ruin your day, or it can hurt your business, or even break your relationships. Integrity is some behavior- a number of individual actions that depend on yours principles. These principles must be some axioms and postulates. It’s also meant to do your charges better than required: on work, in a family I can explain on the example.
Imagine, for a moment, that you a guide in some country, for example, Italy. You must guide tours five days per week in ancient ruins. You can lead tour groups as it required on the same route and tell them the same story about ruins. And if you be such type of tour guide, you’ll receive your salary. But, if you a person of complete integrity, you’ll tell your tour groups interesting stories, show interesting places, etc.
However, there aren’t two persons who understand the same meaning under the word “integrity”. All people have an individual view on moral principles and integrity. The situation is the same as the usage of word “good” – for one person good person is kind, for other is funny and communicative, etc. What I want to say –is that the each person has subjective interpretations, so favored person can be “a man of integrity” and for another person he can regard as ”completely lacking in integrity”.
“Malcolm in the Middle” is one of the best American sitcoms of the 2000s. This sitcom shows to us a family with three kids, family with standard problems and funny situations. In the episode “Water Park” we can see six examples of lack of integrity. Let’s analyze it. First situation is when Hal and Lois's decide to procure a babysitter - any babysitter for Dewey. As for me they should find a good babysitter for their son Dewey. But they wanted to leave him as soon as possible so that they can have fun in waterpark. The second situation is Hal's decision to smuggle a pint of rum into the park. In my opinion, it is total irresponsibility for father. Yes, maybe, I could understand his desire to relax if they spent their weekend in more safety place for a kid. On the one hand, his and Lois’s decision to ignore their sons shows us their lack of integrity. But on the other, they have three rebellious sons, and they’ve worked hard for this day in waterpark. So partly I can understand them.
One more example in this episode is the behavior of the attendant at the top of the monster water ride. For me, it’s the best example. As I have mentioned before, integrity, in my understanding is when you do your job better than just simple repeating “Keep your arms and legs crossed at all timesYou may not wear anything around your neck”. If he had been the good employee, he would have said to Malcolm to take off his nose plug from his neck. But he didn’t do it. It is attendant’s duty to ensure the safety of waterpark’s clients.
One more example to discuss we can see in the episode, when Francis and Spangler have decided deliberately lose each game of pool. In my opinion, it is the funniest scene in the episode. I think; there is no connection between their decision and concept of “integrity”. Spangler just wanted to give a good lesson to Francis. Meanwhile, Francis just wanted to survive in the military academy. He was between the upper and nether millstone - from one side the Spangler, who promised him “sweet life” from the other his friends with the promise to ruin his life too. So they just wanted to outsmart each other, and both of them, in my understanding, acted honestly.
Last scene I want to discuss is episode when babysitter is taken away via ambulance. Medics or neighbors should have called his parents or looked after him. However, everybody has ignored alone little boy on the street. So he chased the balloon till he reached the Chinatown. Honestly, I think similar situation in real world impossible-kid is running over whole city, and nobody pay attention to him. However, all situations I have mentioned above are similar to real. And I hope, people who have watched this wonderful episode, through these situations, will understand that the integrity is one of the main pillars in our life and society.
Dictionaries, Oxford. Oxford Dictionary of English, 2nd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.