Today, we look at the eighth of The 10 Greatest Gifts principles outlined by Steven W. Vannoy in his 1994 book. You will recall that we examined “abundance” the last time. These principles also apply very well to adults working in the business world and can help us work better with others and understand, for ourselves, how we can be most productive and effective in every walk of life.
What is the principle of integrity? Integrity is “doing the right things even when no one else is watching.” Integrity is that life value that means you will not cut any important corners, that you will be strong in the face of opposition, and that you will stand up for what’s right. A person with integrity will also put others first and seek to aid and encourage them when life’s challenges become difficult. A life lived with integrity is one that exhibits empathy, service, boldness, and love toward others.
Why is integrity important to teach our children? Well, when children learn integrity at an early age (things like sharing, helping, honesty, independence, and kindness), they become adults that contribute to society and make the most productive and highest performing employees. One of our key goals as parents should be to create independent, contributing members of society that serve others. Much of what we read in the news is the result of children that did not learn integrity growing up.
My father owned a welding business in the oilfields of Southern Illinois. As a teenager, I worked in the oilfields doing “grunt work” for him. As you might imagine, the characters working in the oilfields covered the gamut. Most were rough and tough, but they worked hard. Even then, it was easily evident to me which men had integrity. I didn’t even know what integrity was back then, but you could certainly see it. Men with integrity worked hard, even when their boss was not around. They did it right even if taking a short-cut would have saved them time. They worked in the mud and grime without complaining. And, they were glad to have the work to support their families. Even to a teenager, integrity would shine like a beacon in those few men in that oilfield. It made a significant impression on me then and still does today.
Integrity is a gift that, hopefully, you received at an early age from your parents. However, anyone can become a man/woman of integrity starting today, if desired. Doing the right thing, day-after-day, in activities big and small starts to build that internal stream of integrity that eventually becomes a river.
Thank you to so many individuals in my life right now that demonstrate integrity every day in every circumstance. I do appreciate you! Have a fabulous and productive day!