Becoming a Person with True Integrity
by Patti Ellis McMurry, LCSW, CHP-SW, LMBT
Hospice Cleveland County, Vice President of Access
A new year brings new opportunities and fresh starts! Most of us make a list of New Year’s resolutions. We start out great, but by March, what a different story! It’s difficult to keep the momentum going the whole year. I ‘m making my list for 2018 and have the greatest of intentions to follow through. Recently, I saw an article, 13 Characteristics of People Who Have True Integrity. I’m adding several of these noble traits to my ‘list’ this year!
People who have true integrity never take advantage of others and are always honest. These people love to build others up and enjoy seeing them get where they need to be. They are always honest because they realize it’s never rewarding to get where you need to be by lying. Until it’s disproven, they accept your word as the truth. You won’t catch them being fake either.
They have great intuition that lets them know when someone needs an encouraging word or cheering up. These people go the extra mile to share a smile or brighten someone’s day. They understand that giving kindness can go a long way! It gives their own life meaning when they know that they have improved someone else’s.
People with true integrity give credit where it is due; they don’t take credit for things they did not do. Teamwork is important to them and, if you help this person, you’ll be recognized for your input. They see the good in everyone first. They believe most other people also have integrity, but will react when they’re taken advantage of too often.
These people won’t argue over something completely ridiculous. They’ll choose to talk respectfully or not get into a discussion at all. Arguing over disagreements is not important to them. They never hesitate to apologize first when they have done something wrong and they try to quickly make things right. Holding a grudge doesn’t happen. That’s a waste of time. People of integrity know that time is a priceless commodity and they value their own time. They know others do also and they respect everyone’s time. Knowing how important time is, they’ll thank you when you share yours with them.
The thing about people with true integrity is that they seldom know their own worth, are humble, and do so much good. They are so important, but seldom see it in themselves. Others must remind people with true integrity of what they mean.
So, back to my ‘list’ for 2018; my list that will make me a better person. I’m including these noble traits. I’m planning to keep my momentum going for the rest of my life. These traits are inspiring and – if more people adopted them – the world would be a better place.
Thing is, I realized as my list began that I KNOW this person, a man of true integrity. A man who would never take advantage of another; whose greatest pleasure is seeing someone excel and he’ll give the boost needed. This man seeks no credit for accomplishments and shines the spotlight on others. He knows that most successes are not achieved alone. He has rarely said an unkind word about another and is the first to point out that all people are dealing with ‘stuff’ and need understanding. An argument is not meant to last nor to inflict hurt. He understands the ticking of time and is grateful for time shared with him. When he doesn’t agree with others, he’s able to get past the differences and celebrate the unique person and the good they have to offer.
My list for 2018 includes things like exercise daily – he walks two miles every morning; do my morning devotions – his faith in God has never waivered; treat people kindly – he manages to do this consistently, even when there is little reason to show kindness; be patient – he’s a salesman and has had to wait on doors to open many times; make every work day a pleasure – in his mid-80s, he still enjoys going to the office. But I’ve added so many more important, less tangible things for the new year. I’m going to keep in mind this man of integrity. I’m going to remember how it feels to be supported, loved, and valued. I’m going to make it a point to follow this man’s example in more and more ways.
I’m not only going to tell him that I love him, but I’m also going to say, “Thanks, Dad. I really appreciate you for being a wonderful example of a person with true integrity.”