Continuing in the ‘communication’ series, the theme of the fourth principle is Communication with integrity. Say what you do and do what you say. This is not as easy as it seems. Whatever you are agreeing to, say it out, commit. Then make sure you do it. Let it not be like the election manifestos where you promise the moon and not deliver. Some of the tools that are used for effective functioning in the corporate sector like ISO 9000 etc are based on this principle. One declares a commitment, the guiding questions for which are – What is being agreed to, who the stakeholders are, what are you going to do for them, what is the process going to be and then definitely does it.
If one is living by this principle, then it means your word is as good as a legal agreement. Kaikeyi, a warrior princess broke through the rakshasa hold that was encircling Dasharatha when he was fighting a losing battle and rescued him. Dasharatha promised her two boons. She did not want any boons then. She said that I have you and hence don’t need anything else. Thirty years passed and she never asked. When Kaikeyi asked for to-be-crowned King Shri Rama to be sent to the forest, Dasharatha could have easily said, ’I don’t remember that I gave you any boon’.
Since he was the final court of appeal, Kaikeyi would not have been able to do a thing. But Dasharatha knew he had given his word and therefore kept it, even at the cost of infamy or the sorrow of parting from his son. His word was far stronger than the legal agreement of today. Today people make legal agreements and look for loopholes. If your word is even more important, you will look for loopholes or escape clauses. You say what you do and do what you say. This makes you a person of integrity, a person who can be trusted someone whose word is taken seriously even by the enemies. It is a great way to be and a great way to live.
(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at email@example.com)