I recently read an opinion column in The Herald Times that caught my attention because it captured the very concepts that I teach to my junior students. The columnist starts off by explaining an unfortunate incident on a golf course that he witnessed at the age of 12. He made a decision to walk away because he did not agree with the behaviors. He closed with the following thought:
We grew up on that country club golf course. I think we grew up in a good way. I believe that the lesson we best learned as we played with poor, but honest, fellow caddies and ethical country club members like Mrs. Crenshaw, was to never violate the rules. For a score to be treasured at the end of 18 holes you need to know that for all of those holes you never transgressed, you never cheated yourself. And your score in life, like the score on the golf course is laudable only because you worked at following the rules — all of the rules. Maybe life is best lived when simply played like an honest and ethical game of golf. Just maybe.
Character counts. The decisions we make today will determine the kind of person we become tomorrow. It took courage for a 12 year-old caddie to say no and years later he sounds like he would do it again.
That's what integrity is all about.
As I continue sharing the core values of golf, I thought it would be timely to share integrity. I was recently asked if I would be willing to teach a student at their home. I am equipped to teach amidst all of the health concerns and the student was clearly comfortable with the idea. Based on the pictures, they had a nice set up with a net and I definitely would appreciate the income.
I went back and forth for a week and ultimately I decided not to accept the offer. While the income would have been great, my services are not considered essential during these times and I am not comfortable violating the current guidelines.
The dictionary defines integrity as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is my hope that I will strive to make decisions that are just that.
From what I have been reading, it is clear that people are getting tired and anxious
to get back to normal lives. Let's respond with integrity so we can all
get back to living life in a way that does not endanger others.