Integrity is so important. Especially these days, when big corporate scandals are almost to be expected. I would consider myself a person of integrity, but it is amazing how little things can show cracks in our character.
I went to a children’s museum with Justin and his family on Friday. My daughter just turned one last week. One of the benefits of young kids is that their admission is almost always free or very discounted. As we were standing in line, the sign said “Children under one are free”. Everyone else was $10. This was the first instance where I was faced with having to pay for her admission, and full price at that!
I quickly whispered to Justin and his wife about whether or not I should try and get her in for free. I mean she was very barely one, and more of a baby than a toddler. [insert any other rationalization and justification here.] I’m not surprised by their response, because I’ve known them for years, but it stopped me in my tracks, called me to a higher standard and allowed me to gain a better perspective.
Of course we should pay her admission.
- It’s the right thing to do.
- It’s investing in our children (if we’re not willing to do that, especially on the small scale, we’re very short sighted indeed.)
- Our character is developed most often in the little “inconsequential” things.
Not that they explicitly said those things, but I heard it loud as day, and I listened. They were also very gracious about it. They didn’t shame me or make me feel bad for momentarily thinking about joining the “dark side.” Additionally, they insisted on paying for both of our admission, and then lunch to boot. Talk about generous.
This one little moment really resounded deep to my core about who I want to be. It challenged who I really am versus who I say I am. It also got me thinking about what the rest of the small things I do say about me. Many say exactly what I should hope, but others could use a little tweaking.
It is so refreshing to know that I work in a company that is founded on integrity. How many people can honestly claim that the company they work for not only has their employees’ best interests at heart, but the good of society’s as well? Well I can, and it’s a privilege to be part of it.
So as you walk through life, if you aren’t already, pay attention to the small things.
They matter more than we think.