That Whisper Is Integrity
Written by guest blogger CW4 Doug Petersen (Ret), who served 20 years as a US Army Aviator. A decorated Vietnam veteran, Doug was a Dustoff pilot and was shot down twice during his tour. Check out more of Doug’s work at http://douglasnpetersen.com/, or listen to his TEDx Talk.
This is part three of an eight-part series on values. Each of the eight-blog posts will focus on one core value and how it applies to our veterans and those still serving our country.
Integrity is that silent value that is lived, not in the spotlight, but in the shadows. When we see the uniform of our service members, we immediately think of many attributes, and integrity is probably not the first. If we rethink it, imagine that service man or woman standing watch in the middle of the night, or standing guard on his or her post. No one is around, yet they perform their duty without looking for any sort of praise. It’s their duty, and they perform it well with integrity. It’s easy to see simple acts of “it’s just the right thing to do” when we look at what our veterans and active duty do every day, even when they don’t see us witnessing integrity at its best.
The road is dark, and it is early in the morning. There appears to be little traffic on this small country road, as the delivery truck driver begins his early-morning ride. There, in the distance, is an object; he slows down to see what could be on the road. He could easily swerve around it and go about his business, but doesn’t. There in the road was a turtle, crossing from one side of the road to the other. The driver stops, gets out of the truck and lifts the turtle, and places it on the grass of the shoulder of the road. While the turtle could have made it across… probably, since there was little traffic, the driver didn’t want to take that chance.
So why did the driver stop? No one was around to pat him on the back for doing a good deed. He certainly didn’t gain anything from doing this. So why stop? This random act of kindness was fueled by the tiny whisper in the driver’s ear…, and that whisper is integrity.
Doing the right thing, though no one will give us any credit, is integrity. It’s that little voice, that soft whisper that guides us to do the next right thing, expecting nothing in return.
Integrity is an honorable and humble value. It is the value that when asked about something we did, we simply reply; it was just the right thing to do.
Today’s journey is all about integrity.