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A Good Night’s Sleep

integrityDo you have trouble sleeping at night? Sometimes I do. I wake up in the middle of the night and spend the next hour thinking about everything under the sun (or moon). I wonder about things like why the mayonnaise jar is smaller at the opening and how Obama got elected and who drank the first milk from a cow. Real serious stuff. Can you have ADD Insomnia? Or maybe it is AGE Craziness? Yes, those are the things that keep me up at night. Fortunately there is one thing that does not cause my brain to work overtime and wake me up. It is the question of integrity.

A Wife Who Can Be Trusted
Just recently my wife was challenged in this area. She had done some work with a company and was being asked to do something that was not exactly truthful. We discussed what to do and I told her to do the thing that would allow her to lay down in peace at night. She chose integrity. She slept well. That is the kind of woman I have appreciated and loved for more than 30 years. I am a very grateful man. Trust has never been an issue for her.

The Sandwich Artist
A few months ago I was in line at a deli restaurant where they prepare your sandwich as you watch. The sandwich artist and I were the only ones in the store at the time. As she finished my sandwich, another worker came in from the backroom to take my money. She asked me what I had and I told her. As I was paying for it, the sandwich artist came down toward the cashier after helping another customer who had walked in and said to me, “You are a good Samaritan.” Somewhat surprised I smiled and said, “What do you mean?” She replied, “You could have told her that you had gotten a cheaper sandwich than what you got.” The thought had never crossed my mind.

It Crashes Into Pieces
I’ve learned over the years that when my integrity is for sale, then I do not have integrity. I have a veneer of integrity. On the surface, it looks real, but underneath is a cheap imitation. True integrity goes to the core of who I am. And it is priceless. No amount of money is worth the integrity you have. It takes a lifetime to build. And it either rises or it falls on the everyday decisions I make. Quite often those decisions are small, like $1.13 off of a sandwich. But it is in the small choices of daily life that I build and maintain my integrity. Rarely has integrity meant financial gain. In fact, integrity has usually cost me money. But each time I chose integrity, it was worth whatever the amount I had to pay. When I compromise my integrity, it does not just diminish a little, it shatters into small pieces and falls to the ground. It has to be rebuilt from the ground up. It is very hard to regain trust once it has been sacrificed.

Choose Integrity Every Day
Each day we all have choices that come our way. When they include integrity and we hesitate, we need to ask ourselves why. Why did we hesitate when it came to honesty? What is so important that we are willing to crash our integrity? Most of the people who read this are honest people. So this posting is just a reminder to all of us that when we have the choice, always choose integrity. You will sleep better at night.

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