Integrity - this is doing what's right, even when nobody is looking. That means that you would come to a complete stop at an intersection where nobody was around for miles. My neighbor found an endorsed check in his yard yesterday. He could have cashed the check with no problem, but he went up and down the street looking for the owner. Finally, after no success, he called the police and handed it over to them. That is integrity.
Honesty - This means telling the truth, even when it's not popular or is likely to get you in trouble. Being honest and up front is key in earning TRUST. In business, this is what brings you repeat business. In friendship, this is what brings you life long friends who will do anything for you. This is all but lost on our politicians who work harder to hide things from the public to "protect" them from some unseen danger. We need more of this in our society across the board.
Equality - This is a tough one, and things with this too are out of balance. Many young people with the "entitlement" mentality believe they must have the same opportunities as those who have done more and earned more. That is not how our society was set up. Those who work harder should get and DESERVE more. But the odds are against the common person. I believe every time we look for a person for a job if we have to determine if we met a quota for diversity in our workforces then we are not hiring the most qualified person for the job. We should be able to look at the person and their accomplishments, period. We must do this without regard to anything else. But to keep down one person to raise up another is wrong. There are people of privilege today who are consistently brought up to the front of the lines and those more deserving, more qualified, and better people all around are forced to struggle. This too is wrong. Every US CITIZEN should have the same education opportunities to help level the playing field, and we do not. Does that mean that a person with an IQ of 85 should be allowed to go to an Ivy League school? Probably not, but we owe it to that individual to train and educate them to the best of THEIR abilities so that they too can become valuable and contributing members of society. Everyone has an important role to play, and a medical doctor is no more important than the person collecting your trash in the morning. In fact, I respect both equally.
Respect - This is our biggest failure today. Respect. It is a sign of reverence for someone other than yourself. We need respect for elders, for they have the experience that we do not. We need respect for life. All life. If it has a heartbeat, we should show it reverence and respect. That doesn't mean we all need to be Vegan, but we need to treat others as we would want to be treated. Respect each other's privacy, for we all deserve that. Respect each other's beliefs does not mean you have to agree or follow them. But by showing respect, it is a sign that I understand that "this" is important to you and I will not ridicule you for your beliefs, and you will not ridicule or belittle me either. Respect allows the Catholic and Protestant churches to exist in peace beside the Jewish and Sikh temples. Muslims could learn much from this, as can we all. Respect for our borders, respect for our customs, respect for our individual rights. Your rights end where it infringes on another. PERIOD. Respect and kindness for each other will go far to eliminating all the other problems in our country.
May you all have a blessed, safe and happy Fourth of July!