Currently, the definition of corruption is “the abuse of entrusted
power for private gain” (Transparency International). At first, I thought that
definition was about as good as it could get. However, a more scientific
definition was coined by professor (emeritus) dr. Petrus van Duyne. He defines
corruption as a fallacy in the decision-making process of a person as he
chooses to neglect the rules in the hopes of a reward (van Duyne, 2001). So, in
other words, it could be called a shortfall in a person’s ability to
distinguish right from wrong, a moral decadence. This is exactly what I will be
talking about, morals and ethics, always concerning corruption.
Whenever someone participates in corruption, we can say he
basically sees things in tunnel vision with a complete disregard for others. He
has a singular purpose, to resolve his own matters without the slightest
consideration of the damage caused to others. This portrays a very weak person
with a fragile sense of morals and ethics. He always tries to find the easy way
out and refuses to face the consequences of his actions. Apart from being a
parasite in the society, this shameless person will manifest his lack of ethics
and morals in many other areas of his life as well. He can be called an
unreliable person, at best. And, we didn’t even mention the simple and obvious
fact that taking part in corruption means breaking the law.
It is said that family is the building block of society
(Ruckelshaus). However, individuals are the building blocks of family, so we
would not be wrong in saying that individuals are the building blocks of
society. Personally, I think that society is a mirror that reflects its peoples’
true identity. A society made up of morally weak people is doomed to fall.
Corruption will eat it from the inside out and there can be no salvation
because everyone will be too corrupt to see beyond their noses. However, if we
were to imagine a society made of morally strong and virtuous people, then we
would be dealing with a fair, developed and exemplary society.
Corruption is truly a serious matter of the gravest importance. I
will try to name a few ways that we can reduce corruption, simply by being more
self-conscious and by improving ourselves. In the war against corruption,
education is the secret weapon that can guarantee us the victory. Furthermore,
“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” (Franklin, 1736) so, a
pre-emptive strategy can be very effective against corruption. After learning
how to distinguish right from wrong, we need to strengthen our moral muscles
and discipline in order to chase only what is right and just. It may be the
most difficult thing to do, but it’s in our best interest in the long run. When
we have established a sense of adamant integrity, that’s when we know we are on
the right track and fully deserve a pat on the back.
Simply put, corruption is a shortcoming of human nature but something that can
be recovered from, nonetheless. With a hefty amount of discipline and
determination, every person can become a moral beacon in his society and an
example to be followed. It is very easy to fall prey to corruption but it is
even more important that we do not. The fate of the entire society depends on
the choices of each and every one of us. While I am fully aware that this essay
will not pave the way towards a perfect society made of perfect individuals, I
remain confident that the points discussed here will be able to make a positive
List of References:
Prof.Dr. Van Duyne,
Petrus C. “Defining corruption” Will Caligula go transparant? Corruption in
acts & attitudes, vol. 1, Forum on Crime and Society, 2001, www.petrusvanduyne.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Corruptie-VN.pdf.
“BeefTalk: An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure.” Ag News from
“The family is the
building block for whatever solidarity there is in society.” Iz Quotes,
International. “What is corruption?” Transparency International, www.transparency.org/what-is-corruption.
UN Global Compact, www.unglobalcompact.org/what-is-gc/mission/principles/principle-10. Corruptie.org, http://www.corruptie.org/en/corruption/what-is-corruption/