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#386: Integrity

Saturday, July 31, 2010

"A person is not given integrity. It results from the relentless pursuit of honesty at all times." Source Unknown

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We learn many lessons from playing and following sports. One that sticks with me is the importance of our integrity and a story about Joe Dimaggio who was known for his honesty and integrity.

There was an instance when the hall-of-fame baseball player was at bat. During this particular time at bat he took two strikes. Then, as the pitcher delivered the next pitch, the wind caused dust to swirl around the plate. As the ball passed the plate and the umpire called strike three, dust got in Dimaggio's eyes and he turned his head away from the dust storm to face back toward the umpire. Not knowing Joe had dust in his eyes, the umpire, startled that Dimaggio would question a call, something he had never before done, threw up his hands and said, "Honest, Joe, it was a strike."

Isn't it amazing that a person's character could be so impeccable that another person would be so surprised at a perceived deviation from normal behavior?

Many years ago when I applied to one particular agency for a law enforcement position, one in which integrity is vital, a lieutenant was going through the questions on the application with me. One asked if, other than normal parking tickets, I had received any traffic citations. I had typed in, "I have never received a ticket." He commented on that and I prepared for the next question which I did not expect to be, "Did you ever deserve any (citations)?"

I immediately answered, "Yes, technically, several times." "I just wanted to see if you'd tell the truth," he said and then explained that some applicants do lie even though it is unlikely that there is someone who hasn't exceeded the speed limit at some time, for example. Maybe not excessively or intentionally but exceeded it nevertheless.

That got me wondering why it is so easy for some people to avoid being honest, especially in a position that requires such a high level of trust and believability. But the type of position should not matter, should it?

How about us? Do we adhere to a high code of ethics in our lives? Are we honest? Can people count on us to do what we say we will do? Can people trust us? Do we possess the integrity of Joe Dimaggio?
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  • no profile photo CD5178852
    And how about the story of George Washington? Did you cut down the cherry tree, son? Hmmmm.

    Today I was faced with this situation-- forge a signature or leave it for a few weeks until a co-worker returns from vacation.... Hmmmm.... the paperwork is still in the TO DO pile. I didn't do the dishonest thing.
    3865 days ago
  • LINDA25427
    Being true to yourself is the answer to much of lifes situations . Hope you have a great week . God bless. Hugs emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3865 days ago
    Another outstanding blog, Lou. It amazes me that there are so many people who struggle with the truth. Funny thing is that the truth will ALWAYS come out eventually.
    3865 days ago
    Honesty, especially with one's self, is so vital, yet so many seem to be able to gloss over it without a blink. Thank you for this insightful blog.
    3865 days ago
    As a teen I spent a lot of time lying to my parents. Not proud, just a fact.
    So, when I became an adult I made the decision that I would live my life not lying and having intregrity. It hasn't always been easy, and I have had my struggles with it. But I can sleep at night knowing that I am proud of who I am.
    It is this honesty with myself that has allowed me to lose weight. If I can't be honest with myself, to whom can I be honest???
    Thanks for the blog.
    3866 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/1/2010 2:22:50 PM
    Great blog, Lou.

    Unfortunately, in our society, lying and cheating gets you further than honesty and integrity. And no, those guys don't always get caught and they do end up living the good life. Can they live with themselves? Probably, if they don't know any better.

    And this is exactly the problem. Take the young kid/teenager who is being taught right at home, yet he sees his school mates, 'friends', and others getting away with cheating and dishonesty, while he is spinning his wheels, trying to do the right thing.

    Sad truth.

    3866 days ago
    Thanks for another great blog Lou. You are absolutly wonderful and you have made a very good point. Enjoy your day. emoticon
    3866 days ago
    I love this blog and the spirit behind it. Thank you.
    3866 days ago
    I am honest now. Years ago I told a lie that hurt someone and I felt so awful when I saw them cry that I vowed to never lie again. That was difficult, and it was challenge enough for several years, but about 15 years ago I took it a step further and sat down and made a list of previous lies and other things that I felt guilty about and needed to make right. I wrote letters to former employers, apologizing for calling in sick when I really wasn't. I called former friends, confessed various mistakes, and apologized. I sent a check to pay for the pens I had accidentally carried home from a job. It felt good to do this. It felt GREAT. It was very empowering, and I recommend such an exercise to anyone who is serious about overcoming guilt and living in the present.
    3866 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/1/2010 1:12:39 AM
  • no profile photo YW84FRIDAY
    Good blog, Lou. I remember my dad telling me when I was young that I was "too honest". Huh? He meant my tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve and be a little too open about things that he considered "private". But I guess what it all boils down to for me is maintaining integrity and trust.

    Have an awesome weekend, Lou.

    3866 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    Very interesting and thought-provoking blog.

    There is such a lack of integrity in so many areas of our lives that it can be difficult to teach it to our children. Most TV shows are filled with people lying to each other, trying to get by with what ever they can and being only out for number one. They witness it in their daily lives - disrespect of teachers and those in authority, disrespect between their parents and more. All we can do is reinforce how important integrity is, show them by living a life of integrity, surround them with those who practice integrity and then hope and pray that our influence over rides the negative.
    3866 days ago
    Hmm, Lou... All's I know is that if I tell Drex a little "white" lie, the truth comes spilling out within a short time! I can't stand it! emoticon
    3866 days ago
    Hmm, Lou... All's I know is that if I tell Drex a little "white" lie, the truth comes spilling out within a short time! I can't stand it! emoticon
    3866 days ago
    Great blog on a great subject !!!

    In answer to Tedybear2832's question as to how to teach our chidren to be people of integrity, we need to live it out in front of them and on purpoae.

    For example, when given back too much change or not being charged for part of our purchase, we have made it a point to make it right with the cashier on the spot with the children looking on.

    Too often, many think this is a great time to get away with something, maybe even bragging about it. What message does this give to others, and most importantly, our children? It is also a great example to the cashier, often a teen or young adult who may have never witnessed this type of behavior.

    When I was a child, I knew that my mother would NEVER lie on the phone about anything. Therefore, we were never tempted to ask her to lie on our bahalf for any reason!

    LIVE IT OUT !!!
    3866 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    WOW, the world sure needs a lot more integrity. I see so many people ignoring the law on purpose. Running red lights, not stopping at stop streets, telling lies at the drop of a hat.

    How do we teach our children to be people of integrity when they see this going on all around them, even in their own homes.

    Thanks Lou, You really hit on a good subject tonight. Lots to reflect on.
    3866 days ago
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