Everyone needs a hero in life and I would dare say that we all have one. When you look on your life, I am willing to bet you can think of someone who is larger than life to you. For me that person is my grandfather. My grandfather has always been an incredible man of God, he has loved people and he has always been willing to do anything for anyone. Not only that but he has also been physically strong, very active, and in top notch shape his whole life.
Today I had the chance and made the time to go have lunch with him. Over lunch we had a lot of great conversations of our time growing up, his service days in the military, his work life, and family memories from years past. It made me long to make this a much more normal part of my life.
About half way through our time, I was able to ask him for some advise – some good life-advise for me and my brother. We are both young, fairly newly married, and me a new father. It is easy to see we can use some good, wise advise at anytime.
When I asked him for advise, this is what he simply said: “Be true to who you are.”
From a man who has lived an admirable and fulfilled life, I loved that of all he could say, this is what he chose. I have not been able to stop thinking about this quote all day. It focuses around a core value that our organization chooses to live by and one that I choose to live by: integrity. The idea of integrity is that I am who I say I am no matter where I am. I believe that this is what my grandfather means.
For him, being true to who he is is first and foremost being a follower of Christ. He has truly lived his life in a way that honors his heavenly father. It also means being the husband and father that God has called him to be. For 37 years it was being a hard worker at the same company until retirement. For 7 years it was who working hard to serve our country in the US Coast Guard. Through all of this though it has been his character and relationship with God that has kept him true to who he is – a man of integrity.
The challenge for me is to be a man of integrity like he continues to be. As leaders we have to be able to be true to who we are and to live with integrity. I am thankful that I have incredible examples on all sides of my family to learn integrity from. The challenge is definitely to put the leanings into practice in every moment in life.
Today’s lunch so much fun and it serves as a great reminder to cherish the moments we have with friends and family. I am thankful for the time and look forward to the next.
Who in your life have you been able to learn integrity from?