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We have heard the phrase, “fair and square,” and “cheaters never prosper.” We usually hear them in the context of sports or in education. Remember playing a pickup game of baseball in the backyard and someone, maybe you, telling your friends that something was “fair and square?”
It can speak to a sense of justice and integrity.
In the Mickey Mouse short below, Mickey is faced with the challenge of cheating (like everyone else) or being faithful to the spirit of fair play.
- Minnie tells Mickey that she does not want to be his partner because they always lose. Then Daisy calls him a “loser.” How do you think that made Mickey feel?
- Is winning at any cost important?
- How would you define integrity?
- How does Mickey show integrity in this short?
- At the beginning of the short, Mickey talks about the “spirit of fair play.” That turns out to be inaccurate as everyone is attempting to cheat. Do you find most of the society being “fair” or cheating? Why?
- Read Psalm 106:3. How does this verse describe Mickey in this short?
- Who in your life does this verse describe?
- The judge asks the question, “Is there no one honorable enough to win this trophy fair and square?” How is being “fair and square” honorable?
- Why do you think it is important to Mickey to win fair and square?
A quick Google search of “integrity” gives you this definition: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”
Writer So-Young Kang quickly adds that while integrity includes honesty, it also requires consistency. She writes:
Consistency is about being the same regardless of the situation. For example, do you know of leaders whose mood changes by the day and make rash decisions on certain days, yet calm and engaging on other days? This would be an example of inconsistency of actions and outcomes.
Kang brings up a good point. Integrity without consistency is simply doing a random act of kindness. Mickey is the only character in this short that consistency shows evidence of integrity. Minnie does not want to be his partner because they always lose. But to Mickey, it is not about losing, it is about playing fair and square.
And sometimes integrity means we do not come in first. Being consistent in our honesty and in being “fair and square,” often means we are called names, we are looked down upon, and sometimes “the first will be last and the last will be first.”
Lord, may we walk humbly as we seek to do what is right, may we be consistent in our right doing, and may we not cause harm. Amen.
Break your group up into two smaller groups. Give one group the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4) and the other group the story of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 27). Ask the groups to discuss how these characters did or did not show integrity.