“If nothing else, be a man of your word.” These are the words I try to instill into my son and continue to reinforce within myself daily. My father did the same with me and taught me what integrity was long before I ever donned the uniform. Even though this may sound a bit sexist, but there is not a more important quality for a man to have than to be trusted and true to his word
When we are honest with ourselves, we are naturally honest with others. This means sometimes we don’t have to be the “winner” to be successful. If we do the right things along the way, we might not win, but we will succeed. A great example of this is from the 1968 Olympics. There was a Tanzanian marathoner named John Stephen Akhwari who fell and dislocated his knee and injured his shoulder. Despite these show-stopping injuries, he refused to quit and limped his way to the finish line. When interviewed he gave the best line to describe integrity, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the Olympic Marathon, they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.” We will not win every race or contest, it is statistically impossible. However, we will never lose if we finish with integrity.