By Aly Tomas
We often hear about how important it is to do the right thing, and make good decisions. Sometimes doing the right thing is clear and simple. Other times, doing the right thing might not feel so easy. It can take courage to do the right thing.
What is integrity and why is it important? Integrity is different from following the rules to avoid getting in trouble, or to impress your teacher. Integrity is knowing for yourself what is right and wrong, and following the rules because you know that’s the right thing to do. The more you practice integrity, the easier it will become.
Sometimes doing the right thing is not limited to what we are doing, but also what you are NOT doing. If you see someone getting bullied by other children, or being left out at school, should you walk away and ignore it? Or should you stand up for what is right and help those in need? It can be difficult to do the right thing, especially when it means standing up and saying no to friends or classmates. This requires courage.
Being brave and having courage is often misunderstood as being fearless. This is not the case! It is perfectly normal to be nervous or afraid in certain situations. What makes a person brave is to stand up for what is right even when you are afraid because it’s the right thing to do.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”Nelson Mandela
How do we know what the right thing to do is?
When trying to determine what the right thing to do is, it is helpful to look at responsibility. Responsibility is using self control, doing what you are supposed to do, thinking before you act and considering consequences. You have the ability to choose your actions, attitudes and behaviours. What questions can you ask yourself when trying to decide whether something is the right thing to do?
- Is this the way I want to be treated?
- Is it kind?
- Is it honest?
- When in doubt, talk to someone you trust, like a parent or a teacher for advice.
Take a look at Moorelands Kids’ idea of citizenship and service leadership:
Citizenship: “Good citizens are people who are engaged, in big or small ways, in considering the needs of others in their community. Citizenship means more than knowing how the government functions (authority). Good citizenship in practice is understanding, appreciating and doing things that make life better for yourself and for others.”
Service Leadership: At Moorelands Kids, we define leadership as the ability to guide, direct or influence people through our own actions and responses. We believe in service leadership. Everyone can build on their own inner strengths to make better decisions for the benefit of all and to act on those decisions.
Leadership is not about power or position…
Leaders give others hope, encouragement and determination.
Leaders help others grow.
IT’S ABOUT INFLUENCE!
Learn more about Moorelands Kids’ programs to empower kids to be outstanding leaders and engaged citizens here: https://www.moorelands.ca/programs/
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