“Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect.” —Stephen Covey

In surveys, veterinarians consistently rank as one of the most trusted professionals in society. I think we’ve earned this distinction with our compassion, dedication and forthrightness. I also know that if we forfeit those traits, we will slip in society’s regard.

In today’s world of negative news, social media myths, bigoted discord, and malignant misinformation, it’s easy to see how someone could lose their sense of direction. After all, if our leaders are dishonest and our system faulty, then why should we conduct ourselves with integrity and show respect for others, our professional colleagues, or even ourselves? A convenient excuse could be the pandemic that has disrupted our lives and separated us from each other. What is immutable in the face of this world we find ourselves in is our own integrity and values. The principles we live by and hold within our hearts are the compass that guides us in troubled times. Values are not transient, but embedded in us.