Febuary 3, 2021
By: Brady Waters
What is “the right thing”? You hear people talking about doing “the right thing” all the time, but you rarely hear anyone clarify what “the right thing” is. It is like “the right thing” is some universally known thing! I know some people whose definition of “the right thing” is far different from mine, so how do we know whose “the right thing” is “the right thing”?
I remember being told by people who were my heroes growing up (my dad, my grandaddy, my uncle, coaches) that a person’s character was the most important thing they could ever have. I was always the curious type, so I would always ask for the definition of character. The words may have been a little different from each person, but the message was always the same. Character is who you are when no one else is looking. As a little kid that scared me. As an adult…sometimes that still scares me!
A person’s character is shaped by their own moral code: their understanding of right and wrong. A person’s morality is shaped by their experiences and environment.
Where I was raised the moral code was very simple.
- Treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Leave things nicer than you found them.
- Open the door for ladies and smile while you are doing it.
- Always respond politely with “yes, ma’am”, “no, ma’am”, “yes, sir”, or “no, sir”.
- Get to know Jesus before you need to know Jesus.
As you can see, the moral code above requires action. It also requires courage. I still think of these things as normal, but in today’s world it seems to be anything but normal. We see normal to be divisive, selfish behavior that seldom leaves people better than they started. We see normal as an inability to show kindness in the face of adversity. We see normal as a scary world where hate is more prevalent than love.
The moral code I set for my team is not easy. It is hard to go against the grain and think of others first. It is hard to put serving others ahead of making money. It is hard to stand firm in the face of unethical behavior. It takes courage to be firm in what you believe and behave accordingly.
That brings me to the third core value of our company, integrity.
Integrity is not something you can have every now and then. Integrity requires determination, purpose, and consistency. It is what we strive to show in every interaction with the people and companies we serve.
Integrity is having the character to understand what is right and the courage to act on it. We are people of integrity. This is who we are.