“The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example.”
– Thomas Morrell, Librettist
We have all heard or can appreciate these statements:
* “It is not what you say, it is what you do.”
* “Your actions speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you are trying to say.”
* “People hear what they see.”
Although the holidays are now behind us, there is still one “gift” we get to give daily: our example. And, there is one specific focus that can lead to demonstrating a powerful living example: Integrity.
By integrity I mean:
* Say what you will do
* Do what you say
* Tell someone if you are unable to commit
Further, if you find you need to tell someone that you cannot meet your commitment, find out if there is anything you can do to clean up any mess or inconvenience you may have caused. This is “honoring your word” and it is different from “keeping your word”. Keeping our word is often impossible, honoring our word is achievable with every commitment we make. That said, where we place our word must be carefully considered.
Do you ever make and break promises to yourself? Have others made a commitment to you and not followed through? Have you ever had someone tell you they would do something and your internal voice tell you that it would never happen? Do you think people ever think that of you? We often hope someone forgets a promise we have made, but yet we tend not to forget what others have promised us. Trust is easily damaged, quite often unintentionally, by placing our word in a place that we can’t get to.
All of that said, trust can be fortified when we honor our word. If you make a promise to me, call to tell me you can’t deliver, and then offer to help mitigate any damage caused by you, I am both surprised and impressed. You will actually have elevated your standing in my eyes, and have given me a great example of how I get to honor my own word.
Give the gift, and the example that keeps on giving: living a life of integrity.