Friday, October 22, 2010

Thunder and Lightening

I love thunder and lightening storms - when I was kid I remember lying in bed and watching the lightening and counting the seconds between its flash and the booming sound of the thunder to determine how far away the storm was. In my head I would always be counting: one-one thousand, two-one thousand and so on. We had those kind of storms all the time in upstate New York, and I loved the power and fury they brought, along with the sound of the rain on the windows and roof. California rarely has those kinds of storms now, but we had them this week and it immediately brought back all the sounds and smells and memories of those long ago storms. What's amazing is how little it takes to recall memories from our past - the sights and sounds and smells and emotions we grew up with. And as I laid awake in the night and watched this rare lightening illuminate the darkened room, I smiled at all the related memories that accompanied those long ago events. Life is full of memories - and they continue to vividly shape and define who we are today. Take time this week to remember all those things that made you what you are today, and to smile at the memories.

My message this week is about integrity, and how all that we learned throughout our lives continues to help shape who and what we are today.

“If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters.” Alan Simpson

Alan Kooi Simpson (born September 2, 1931) is an American politician who served from 1979 to 1997 as a United States senator from Wyoming as member of the Republican Party. In 1997 he wrote a book titled Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press.

It’s clear that integrity matters. You can do lots of things each day, and throughout your life, and in the end all that will be left will be your reputation. Think of all that you do each day, each month and each year – in the aggregate nobody will remember one thing from the next. But they will remember the tone and context of your efforts. Were you honest and trustworthy, did you keep your promises, could others rely on the quality and intent of your work, would anyone recommend you and your work to others?? These first three questions talk about the quality of each individual effort; the last speak to the caliber of the person. So much of what we do can be measured against the quality of similar work - what can’t be easily measured is one person’s character against that of others. In those instances, you stand alone, and will be judged alone. And in those instances, integrity matters.

Stay well.

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