Tillerson in Farewell Speech: ‘This Can Be a Very Mean-Spirited Town’

By Melanie Arter | March 23, 2018 | 10:57am EDT
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in his farewell speech Thursday urged employees at the State Department not to lose their personal integrity and urged them to do an act of kindness daily, saying that Washington “can be a very mean-spirited town.”

“In closing, I’d like to ask that each of you undertake to ensure one act of kindness each day towards another person. This can be a very mean-spirited town,” Tillerson said to laughter and applause. “But you don’t have to choose to participate in that. Each of us get to choose the person we want to be and the way we want to be treated and the way we will treat others.”

Tillerson called on employees to uphold certain values as they carry out their duties within the State Department.

“As you go about your duties, each of you carrying out your individual responsibilities as well as your collective duty, it is my hope that you’ll be guided by and test your actions each day against the values that we have spoken about over this past year,” he said.

“First, the value to the safety and security of yourselves, your loved ones, and your colleagues. Second, to maintain a commitment to accountability by first holding yourselves accountable so that you’re able to hold others accountable and that the positive environment of accountability is underpinned by honesty and integrity in all that you do,” Tillerson said.

“Never lose sight of your most valuable asset, the most valuable asset you possess - your personal integrity. Not one of you was gifted it. You were born with it. It belongs to you and always has and will belong to you and you alone. Only you can relinquish it or allow it to be compromised. Once you’ve done so, it is very, very hard to regain it, so guard it as the most precious thing you possess,” he said.

“And finally, I hope you will continue to treat each other with respect. Regardless of the job title, the station in life, or your role, everyone is important to the State Department. We’re all just human beings trying to do our part,” Tillerson added.


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