Hello old friends, new followers and fellow bloggers-
You know that moment when you have to make a hard choice. It is that moment when you have to decide between doing what is right versus what is popular. I’ve had a handful of those moments over the years and recently I have found myself making more of these choices. Will I do what is right? Or will I compromise my integrity and character for what is popular? As I embark into a profession that is characterized for integrity and fitness, these are the hard choices I must make. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one else is looking. Integrity is taking words to another step and implementing what you know is right for your life and your environment. Being integral can be a bummer, especially when people start hating you because of their own irresponsibility and lack of character. There is nothing worse than dealing with individuals with no sense of integrity, and no sense of character.
I used to think that fitting in my peers was a highlight for existence, but as I get older I realize that the reputation and name one makes for themselves go beyond a few years in high school or college. People remember your name and if it is characterized in deceit or irresponsibility these memories affect job opportunities and business partnerships. People engage in the behavior of business with those that they trust and if one exhibit a lifestyle void of integrity and character, the trust level lessen and partnerships fail. Contrary to popular belief, it is the goal of an attorney to uphold the law in speech and deed. It is our job to exhibit moral integrity as we are agents for the public and are responsible for many lives. I heard an attorney say something so key today in a lecture that made my heart smile so big. He said “I’m not in a popularity contest. Nothing is worth a blemish on your integrity and character.” It was these words that I took to heart, I am in competition with no man and even though some may not like my behavior- I have to do what is right no matter the outcome.
Character goes along way. Yes, having friends are great but at what cost are we willing to build friendships? What is the cost? Proverbs 22:1 states “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” What we deem to be so important is nothing in comparison to our reputation, our name. We all have the ability to have a good name and this is demonstrated in our integrity and our relations with others. How we treat people, what we compromise on and what we allow in our lives is a direct reflection of the state of our name. Do you have a good name?
Friends, I remember one August evening like it was yesterday. On a still summer night, I took an oath. An oath to always be prepared as a law student. An oath to always operate with ethics and civility toward my fellow colleagues. I took an oath to operate with integrity always, whether in the presence of my peers or in my home. I took an oath and I intend to carry out every word of that precious promise. My mom has a favorite phrase, “Character will keep you where your gift takes you.” I’m paraphrasing of course but the gist of this statement is that yes, your gift and charisma will open doors for you but it is your character that secure these opportunities. Opportunities will come but those with no character will find themselves with the short end of the stick in the future to come.
Weigh out your life choices. Make a conscience decision to decide what is best for your future, because at the end of the day it is your life and you are responsible for where it leads. When we get older, we cannot blame our friends for our criminal records nor can we blame our friends for our crooked business practices. We cannot blame our friends for our lost opportunity, nor can we blame our friends for the lack of trust from our communities. We cannot blame our friends for our bad reputation and therefore we cannot blame our friends for the consequences created from our actions. These examples are just based on this life and not the life to come. When we stand before God, we will be standing by ourselves and no one else will be present with us to assume the responsibility of our foolish mistakes and lack of integrity. It will be just God and us – reflecting on our choices in life.
Lastly, I leave you with this final thought. What do you have to lose by doing the right thing? Really, what do you lose by telling the truth when it’s easier to tell a lie? Yeah, someone is going to be offended and have their feelings hurt. That is inevitable. Yes, someone may end your friendship and stop talking to you. That sounds like a personal problem that is being projected out of hurt and insecurity, again inevitable. Yes, you may not get invited to the “in” club outings and such, but hey they are probably lame anyways. Now here is a question for the reverse: What do you have to lose by compromising your character and integrity? Everything. You have everything to lose in one moment of decision. You can gamble with your life but if you lose the aftermath is greater than the choice it took to create your current situation. Choose wisely!
Until next time,