Hal Wilson was one of those teachers they base movies on. He let us stray from the topic at hand into the Stuff of Life that Matters, often.
He was the first person I knew who used the word Integrity and talked about it. A lot. He said his integrity was the single most important thing in his life. Without it, he felt he lost a lot of what it meant to be a man.
As an adult, I reflect back and know better how brave it was for him to say such things. It’s easier not to talk about it, because most of us don’t live into values like integrity very well. Plus, living into it is often costly, and we’d rather not do it, truth be told. So we’d prefer not to admit to anyone, maybe not even ourselves, that it’s something we aim for.
And yet, do any you readers of this post regret a single instance in which you chose to act with integrity, even if it cost you?
The times you chose the hard path because it was the right thing to do, and you knew it?
The times you didn’t go with the crowd?
The times you stood up for a deeply held principle?
Odds are, even if you paid a price, you have a sense of dignity and a good energy in that memory.
Contrast that with the times we messed up – when we didn’t play quite fair, when we took credit at someone else’s expense, when we won the battle but in our heart of hearts know we compromised the war, even as we ourself, momentarily, looked good. Isn’t there a part of us that, even if we don’t fully regret it, acknowledges that we won, but at our own expense?
I don’t know that babies have integrity. But the more we can live into it, the more we sleep like babies. I’m not sayin’ how well I sleep yet… but I hope it gets deeper with age.
Photo credit: Qole