What You Can Take With You…..
……if you still have it.
In a rush to collect everything under the sun there is only one thing of value that we should care about but rarely do we cherish its existence.
A mentor of mine told me:
“Once you have taken a pencil you are always a thief; one can be rehabilitated and many people become major assets to society once again but there will always be an un-repairable crack to that person’s integrity.”
I think that ‘boys will be boys’ and young people trying to figure out their place in the world will do foolish things but a huge cause for concern is that the vast majority are now choosing greed and desire over making the right choice of personal respect and dignity. More and more people today are compromising their integrity to get ahead; selling out their friends to make sure they are first in line…..and rarely for anything of any real value.
We are burying our proverbial integrity in the sand and then watching as generations below us are seeing those examples and then emulating them at an all new level. Bullying, early drug addictions and serious youth violence are just a few examples of how this lack of personal respect is showing up in our next generation. How often did you think it was considered acceptable to bring a gun to school?
Where does the premise of integrity get taught? How do we continue to help others understand that all the baggage they bring, all the toys they collect and all the facades they live behind will never be able to go to the grave with them? The only real thing that can go beyond the real world is the very integrity that you live your life with. You are what you stand up for and you are what you represent; not the companies you wear or the kind of people you socialize with but the stripped down version of who you are. Will you steal? Will you use others to get further ahead? Will you stand up for what you believe no matter if those thoughts go against popular belief?
For many people, and this is merely an observation not a judgment, I think it is time to go back to the mirror and look deeply inside. Look at the person that peers back and see all that is there. There isn’t a BMW or a Topaz in that mirror. Your wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, children or family are not in that frame. Your wallet doesn’t show up and nor do the things that others see you as. The only thing that peers back should be two inquisitive eyes that ask, “Who am I and what’s next?”
That’s it. Just you and your integrity.
If you think it is okay to sell drugs or date a minor then you aren’t actually looking into your eyes and seeing the person you should be seeing. You are still faking it and for you my friend……
…there is nothing for you to take to the grave. You gave up the only thing you can’t sell or buy; and you actually gave it away for free. You take nothing and the legacy you leave is of your affairs not of yourself.
Choose integrity and self respect. Stand up and be counted. Take something with you and leave something here to be remembered for.