Back in the mid-’90s, my late father taught me a lesson that has stayed with me to this day. It takes on new and deeper meanings for me every time I give it some thought.
Back then, my parents owned a small garden nursery, growing some of the best climbing plants around. Things like clematis and the like.
Anyway, when I was around 16 and during the summer holidays, I was helping him with a small delivery which was worth around £150. We drove around an hour to deliver and drop the clematis off to the customer.
Cash on delivery, all standard and mundane so far.
Only, when we returned, we checked the payment and noticed he had received too much.
£5 too much.
Not a lot of money by anyone's standards, even back then.
But Dad, being who he was, looked at me and said “come on” meaning to hop back in the van.
We drove another hour back to his client to return the overpayment.
Even as a 16-year-old kid, I knew that this was unusual by most people's standards.
Most other people would smile and pocket the extra money.
Most other people would likely not have returned the overpayment.
Most other people would certainly have not spent more money on fuel than the overpayment amount as a justified reason not to give it back.
My father was not most people.
I knew I was learning something that day that would stay with me to this day more than 25 years later.
I think about that day a lot. I believe it was a pivotal moment in my life as well as the way I looked at my father.
I know I gained a different type of respect for him that day.
I learned a great many things that day.
What it means to have to have morals, to be a man of character.
Most importantly, I saw with my own eyes, what it meant to have integrity.
That one simple illustration was not just something Dad did, it was part of who he was. It was how he lived.
Every day I try to be a little more like the man I saw that day.
To not just have integrity, but to be a man of upstanding character in every area of my life.
Integrity - Do You Have It?