Integrity is the most valuable quality anyone can have in life. You might benefit from being dishonest but it will never last. Most people pay attention to those you have chosen to associate with, and they will inevitably judge your character by the character of your friends. Behave well and never give a chance for someone to judge your friend unfairly by your conduct.
We live in a society with all shades of characters; some good and some not just worth emulating. The society is getting sick day-by-day. We have left good morals to the dogs whiles chasing paper notes with the highest of dishonesty. I always tell my colleagues that you can never cheat someone and expect to make a lasting fortune out of it. No! No matter how wealthier you become through that filthy money from the sweat of someone, you will definitely suffer for it. Even if you escape it here on earth, you will definitely account for same in heaven. Allah created us at different points in time and at different circumstances. He has already penned down what we would become and our contribution to humanity. He again is the house of WEALTH AND HE GIVES IT TO WHOEVER HE WANTS AT HIS OWN TIME. The are others that Allah blesses through others. So! prayer, goodwill and integrity are fundamental pillars that if practised on daily basis, the good Lord will always direct good people into your life.
I remember a colleague classmate who dropped out of school because he succeeded in duping a foreigner. This friend, I wouldn’t like to mention his name here, explicitly told me that: Prof, [as he normally called me] what do I need again?! Is it not because of money that we are struggling in school?! I was shocked when he told me that he is dropping out. He was alleged to have gotten Ghc 90,000 from internet scam. My attempts to advise him to further his education never yield something good. Thereafter, we all went our separate ways. I met him around Accra Mall somewhere late 2019 where he was cruising in the latest 2019 Range Rover with his friends in the fraud industry. There, I was seriously footing with my handkerchief in hand, very wet like that of a fallen towel in an ocean. Probably, he might have felt bad for me for choosing the noble way of life.
Today, as I type, I met him at Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange. He was the one who saw me and called. I was surprised because I never thought I knew someone around that vicinity. I nearly wept seeing him. Is something I cannot perfectly describe here but I tell you, may we continue to remain honest to people regardless of our current predicaments. I was like aaarh... what are you doing here?! He told me that he has regretted a lot for his past life and that all his properties are no more. He told me he bought a land at Sagnarigu Municipality, in Tamale but had to sell it out because of his crippling financial situation. What shocked me was that he said he would wish to get back to school if only his dad would fully accept him back as he did in the past because he cannot bear the cost of education for now. I tried reminding him what I told him just very few years back. You know what! As soon as he began to speak of that, his lips trembled and tears suddenly filled his eyes. It was a time of sorrow but that is the worth of it. Allah will never cheat one for the other, no!
I recall how these fraud boys drive in flashy and latest cars, I have seen most of them disrespect elderly men and women in public and splash solid cash in public like they own the keys to Bank of Ghana. I recall, on a very busy day of mine when I had an appointment with a friend to be introduced to his friend for a temporary assignment which could have fetched me Ghc 300.00, these fraud boys carelessly caused avoidable traffic on the Madina road, causing me to apologise to my friend as first timer and the impression it connotes for a deal. The worst that ever happened to me in the hands of this fraud boys is when a clothes seller refused selling a lacoste shirt to me because of my low bargaining power. I was the first person there and my bargain was agreed by the seller. Unfortunately, the seller didn’t have the balance in return as I had a Ghc 50.00 denomination. This fraud boy came with his car, asked of the price and the seller quickly took it from me. He priced him Ghs 60.00 which was thrice of what we agreed on payment. Without any hesitation, this guy paid Ghc 60.00 without looking at his back. I walked home suddenly disappointed.
Dear colleague youngsters, this is a lesson to all of us. We must always remember to do unto others as we would love them do unto us. We need to always put it at the back of our minds to always do good to others regardless of what others have done to us. Let’s not transfer the aggression of others to innocent ones. Let’s remember that success will come and go, but integrity is forever. Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. We need not do good only when people are watching us. What is so fulfilling than doing good for Allah’s sake! It takes having the courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be. Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity. Integrity is what makes a human being worth living. And when you lose it, you have losen everything because it is the consistency of moral character.
O Allah, guide us among those You guide, grant us safety among those You grant safety. Take us into Your care among those take into Your care. Bless what You give us and direct us unto the right path. Protect us from the evil you have decreed and dissociated us from dishonesty and all its associated evils...Ameen Yaa Rabbi!
Columnist: Abdul-Razak Lukman