A Word to Live By - Earl Nightingale
Another essay by Earl Nightingale from the How to Completely Change Your Life Series
When General Dean was a prisoner of the Communist Chinese in Korea and had been led to believe that he would soon be shot, he wrote a letter to his wife with instructions for their son. He wrote: “Tell Bill the word is integrity.”
Here is the best advice a parent can give to a child. With that single word and realizing all that it means, a young man or woman can look forward to a tremendously rewarding life. It will mean living by the Golden Rule, an, insurance policy that guarantees abundance.
Integrity is the quality we most often look for in others. It is what a woman wants in her husband, and he in her. It is what the boss wants of his employees, and vice versa. If you are having a home built, it is what you want most from the ~ men who work on it whether you are there to watch them or not. Integrity is the world’s most valuable quality in a service, a product, or a person.
If one uses the word “integrity” as a guide for all his dealings with others, he can rest easy in the knowledge that he will ﬁnd it coming back to him in countless ways. One of the greatest re- wards is the feeling of personal worth and the conﬁdence and assurance integrity brings.
The man or woman of integrity doesn’t have to contend with a haunted house full of fears and worries. Since this person treats everyone with whom he comes in contact and everything he does with integrity, it will be reﬂected throughout his world.
There are probably millions of people who would not steal someone else’s property but who think it is all right to give less than their best to their work. They don’t think of this as stealing, but it is. What would you consider it, if such a person were working to build your home? Frequently our attitude changes with the situation. An incompetent waitress, out to dinner with her boyfriend, will be the ﬁrst to complain about poor service. A sloppy builder will suspect a sloppy attitude toward something being built for him, and. he will yell his head off if he ﬁnds it.
We look for our own shortcomings in others. But the man or woman of integrity, expects integrity in others as a matter of course.
Over the long haul, the person who lacks integrity in any aspect of his life—at work, at home, or with his social contacts—is a person who has failed to mature. He lacks wisdom, and he will suffer for it. Seldom does this type of individual ever wake up to the fact that he is simply sawing off the limb he is sitting on, and sooner or later he has to take his fall.
General Dean, undoubtedly, gave a lot of thought to the advice he wanted to leave his son. If he had thought for ten years, he could not have , come up with a better word than integrity.
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