Mark Twain (my distant cousin, o yea!) said:
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything".
This past week I felt like our integrity both came into question and we came through the other side unharmed.
In fact a couple days after my incident at work and R's incident at school, I posted this to Facebook:
"My soapbox for the day: Have good character, be honest, respectful, and responsible. So that when your reputation is questioned people will defend it, because they KNOW you. "By their fruits ye shall know them," make good choices so others never have to doubt when it is brought into question."
I have met people throughout my life who have not always been the most reliable or the most truthful. What they don't realize is most people are far more forgiving if they know the truth, even when if it is an awful truth.
But once a lie is spoken, once the truth is hidden...
Well, those words can't be taken back.
With integrity comes trust from family and friends.
It saddens me to see a person who has a pattern of creating doubt, suspicion, or has broken trust in the past, it is sad to see them then hurt by one's ability to not trust them "this time".
It's the classic story of the boy who cried wolf, what a wonderful lesson of integrity.
So do I think maintaining our integrity can be a huge piece of the happiness puzzle?
At the end of our lives, our integrity, our character, our reputation is all we will have, how people will remember us from the impact we had on their lives, whether that be a negative or positive is up to us.
As a side note, I think those who do struggle with redefining their character whether in friend's lives or family, should know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people can be made better, through changing our ACTIONS instead of just our WORDS, we can always be forgiven and have a second chance at rebuilding our character.