I am respectful and honest because I know what is right, and what is wrong.
Honesty and respect go hand in hand.
I have great respect for a young teenage football player, Joseph Wirthlin, who knew what was right and wrong and chose to honor integrity. Here’s his story in his own words:
“The play called for me to run the ball up the middle to score the go-ahead touchdown. I took the handoff and plunged into the line. I knew I was close to the goal line, but I didn’t know how close. Although I was pinned at the bottom of the pile, I reached my fingers forward a couple of inches and I could feel it. The goal line was two inches away.
At that moment I was tempted to push the ball forward. I could have done it. … But then I remembered the words of my mother. ‘Joseph,’ she had often said to me, ‘do what is right, no matter the consequence. Do what is right and things will turn out OK.’
I wanted so desperately to score that touchdown. But more than being a hero in the eyes of my friends, I wanted to be a hero in the eyes of my mother. And so I left the ball where it was—two inches from the goal line.”
By example, and sharing our experiences, we can let our children know that there is nothing more liberating than to know we are honest. We try to recognize and exercise integrity in all of our actions and choices. Transparency gives us freedom. We have nothing to hide.