This I Believe

Michael - Lexington, Virginia
Entered on October 29, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in integrity. I believe in doing the right thing when no one is looking. I believe that honor and high moral standards should be the corner stone of daily life.

In a world that seems to be going mad, having integrity and high moral standards is more important than ever before. Today, it is not uncommon to hear of under age drinking, illegal drug use, cheating on exams, or even people just being rude and obnoxious to others. All these acts could be found at my high school. Teens and young adults seem to be wilder than ever as the world around them cedes to and even encourages their actions.

In today’s world, it is easy to find temptation. In the final weeks of my high school career, I was faced with a moral decision that I believe will have an impact for the rest of my life. I was trying to get a 4.0 grade point average, but I needed to get an A on my English final. I mentioned my concerns about the English final to a fellow student. At the end of the discussion, she handed me a copy of the Universal English final for the senior class. I wanted to get that 4.0 more than anything, but I handed the copy of the final back to the student. Unfortunately, I now knew the titles of the poems and answers to questions on the test, even though I only looked at it for a brief period of time before figuring out what it was. There were two weeks left till graduation. If I turned my fellow student in, I knew she probably would not graduate. However, I also knew what I had to do. I went to my teacher after school that day. I was very nervous, but I told her what I had seen. As I consequence, I did not get the 4.0 I wanted. In the end though, I still had my honor, which I knew would have a greater impact on my life than my high school GPA .

The student who had stolen the final was slapped on the wrist. She was given in-school suspension and was allowed to graduate with the senior class. Many other students did not pass or get the grades they wanted in their last semester of high school because of her actions and my sense of honor , but she got to walk free without a scratch as the school pretended nothing happened.

It is not always easy or popular to do what is right, but I believe people should take pride in doing the “right” thing no matter how hard it is. I tell myself that what matters is not what others think, but the ability to live with my own actions knowing I have done the right thing. I stood steadfast in my beliefs and standards in spite of the temptation of getting a 4.0, so the world can stand steadfast too.