“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you” – H Jackson Brown Jr
I don’t know if you remember people asking you when you were a child, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”.
What did you say?
…a famous sports person?
…a park ranger?
What about now, did you make it? I mean are you what you wanted to be as a child?
Does it matter at all now?
Well I am sure there are those who were very clear on what they wanted to be when they grew up and are doing that precisely. There is no doubt many others who for a variety of reasons, some good and some bad, have drifted away from that child’s vision.
I know I am certainly in that later group, in fact I did not really have much of a vision of who I wanted to “be” when I was a child.
However, I now realise and yes hindsight is very valuable, that the question asked of me as a child, still resonates – but it is a slightly different version.
You see the question we should really be asking ourselves is this…
“Who do you want to become when you grow up?”
In other words, what type of person, what do you believe in, who do you look up to and who looks up to you?
My view is that we only really grow up, once we know the answers to those questions.
Don’t get me wrong that I mean growing up is losing our “childlike” curiosity, amazement and creativity either… definitely not.
What I am referring to is it’s about a sense of knowing who we are and that others know who we are as well.
Marketers call this “positioning”, I just call it becoming clear and living that on a daily basis through our thoughts and actions – with no exceptions.
Another way to describe what I mean in one word is…
- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
“a gentleman of complete integrity”
synonyms: honesty, uprightness, probity, rectitude, honour, honourableness, upstandingness, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, nobility, high-mindedness, right-mindedness, noble-mindedness, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness
“I never doubted his integrity”
- the state of being whole and undivided.
“upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty”
synonyms: unity, unification, wholeness, coherence, cohesion, undividedness, togetherness, solidarity, coalition
“internal racial unrest threatened the integrity of the federation”
Does this describe who you have become today?
Or is it possible that you are still on this same journey as myself in “becoming”?
Regardless, I have come to realise it is who we become as human beings, as people, as adults, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, politicians, teachers, volunteers, cleaners that is most important. Who we continue to look up to for inspiration and example and who now looks up to us.
When we “become”, integrity, in my opinion, should be the common thread that ties us together.