“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” – W. Clement Stone
Years ago, I finished up some business in Oklahoma and was headed to the airport.
Christie was nine months pregnant with Josiah and due any minute. I was hours away from home.
I was in a 45mph speed limit zone, and doing 60mph.
Magically, a police car appeared behind me.
To add to the tension I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt.
Then, blue lights.
With superhuman speed, I snatched the seatbelt and slammed it into the buckle with a precision that impressed even me.
I pulled over.
He slid his body out of the car and strolled to my window.
“Excuse me, sir. You were speeding. I need to see your license and registration.”
He got to the back of my rental car, turned around, and walked back to my window.
“Mr. Jones?” he asked.
“Did you have your seatbelt on?”
In a span of two seconds, I went to war within myself: “Does he know? Is he not sure? I might get away with this!”
But thankfully I answered, “No-sir. I didn’t.”
“That’s what I thought,” he barked.
After a revolution of the earth around the sun, he returned.
To my shock, he handed me a warning ticket!
After a few comments, he turned to walk away and said,
“Mr. Jones. Be sure and wear that seatbelt.”
I got his meaning.
He tested me.
He knew I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. And because I answered truthfully he let me go with a worthless slip of paper and a mini-lecture.
The Moral of The Story
When the policeman questioned if I was wearing my seat belt, a question came to me that rose above the turmoil within:
“Is my integrity worth $50?”
How about you?
What’s your integrity worth?
Questions of integrity can also ask:
– Will I give back the excess change that the cashier mistakenly gave me?
– Will the gossip end with me?
– Will I be honest on my tax returns though it costs me?
– Will I keep confidential what a friend or colleague shared with me?
– Will I take the credit for what someone else accomplished?
– Will I shift blame when I’m chiefly responsible?
– Will I do what I said I would do though it greatly inconveniences me?
Integrity paid for my speeding and seat-belt violation. But that’s not the point.
– Integrity pays for a clean conscience.
– Integrity pays for self-respect.
– Integrity pays for peace of mind.
– Integrity pays for healthy relationships.
– Integrity pays for a solid reputation.
– Integrity pays for a good night’s sleep.
– Integrity pays for setting you apart in this world.
– Integrity is priceless.
But is it to you?
What’s your integrity worth?
Where are you being tested right now? Put a flag in the ground that you will not cave.
Where are you slipping in your integrity? It’s not too late. Do an about face and resolve to be true to yourself.
Declare now that your integrity has absolutely no price tag.
BEFORE YOU GO
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