An incident happened recently that has really made me think about integrity and personal responsibility.
We had just pulled into our favorite campground. It was dark so we decided to pull off to the left side in a lighted area, to disengage our tow vehicle. I look up and there is another motor home going by us on the left (so close that I thought we might get baby motor homes). Then I hear glass break, and our side mirror shattered.
We had friends already at this campground on their way to meet us with flashlights. I immediately texted them to get the license plate and why (now, if I had only realized I was holding a camera and taken the picture, but I digress). They saw him, he quickly pulled into his spot. They called the Rangers and local law enforcement. We explained, showed the time stamp on the text (here is where that picture is worth a thousand words).
When the officers spoke with this man (for gentleman he was not) he flat out lied; told the FWC agent that he, too, was former law enforcement (fired on ethics charges no doubt) and lied three times. The thing is, the Rangers and FWC know us and our friends (hehe not because we are bad - we Volunteer here) they knew we told the truth, but their hands were tied.
My angst comes from the fact that this man lied to the law enforcement in front of his two young sons (7-10 age) they knew what he did - they knew he lied. To the law.
Got me thinking about our world of effects today. How lies fly around like birds in Florida (abundantly). How we don’t have much leadership in the integrity department. I looked at my life. Where do I not tell the truth? Only when I say mean things to myself - but THAT is a different topic for a different day.
Would I have spoken up and told the truth if I were in the opposite shoes? Well, honestly, I wouldn’t have done what he did - so hard to say... But I like to think I would. I remember being a kid and taking a pack of gum, I remember my mom marching me back to apologize, give it back and pay for it out of my allowance (and not get to keep the bubble gum) I remember that lesson in telling the truth. I think of who I became because of that (honest). I am saddened to think about who these boys will become because of this incident. The lessons they have learned, what life will have in store for them. I believe in forgiveness, but I also believe in honesty.
I realize it is what we DO that makes the difference. Not what we say or even believe but DO that makes for a better world.
Let’s all make a pact to live in integrity to stand up for what’s right, no matter what.
Let’s create the world we want.
As Gandhi said:
As we change our own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards us. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.
Truth and integrity will win out. Who is with me?
About Patrice Rivera, RScP
Patrice Rivera was told at 8-years old that she had no artistic talent. Nevertheless, she has always wanted to be an artist. [more]