Internal Compass and Integrity
As we consider this month how to recognize and follow our internal compass to act with integrity, perhaps we could consider the example set by Karl G. Maeser. He was the president of a small educational academy in a pioneer settlement in Utah and was known for his intelligence and teaching skills. More importantly, he was revered for his great humility and integrity.
I have long remembered this oft-told explanation of how his integrity compelled him to keep his word. He said: “Place me behind prison walls—walls of stone ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground—there is a possibility that in some way or another I may be able to escape; but stand me on the floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of that circle? No, never! I’d die first!”
Maeser set the bar extremely high. No matter where we are in our quest to recognize the direction we receive from our internal compass, surely this inspires us to continually fine tune our ability to recognize the right course in any situation. When we act using his definition of integrity, there is no room for half-truths, conveniently omitted details, excuses for misdeeds, or red herrings to deflect others from having a full knowledge of the facts. As we grow in this process, we will not only speak and act with integrity, we will do it with eagerness and a desire to bless the lives of our families and communities.
Our authors this month have given us a plentiful feast of food for thought regarding our internal compass and acting with integrity. Lisa gives useful guidelines for calibrating our compass, Shelli creates a thoughtful salad of thoughts about recipes, gardens, and learning to create beauty, Michelle shares the magnificent results of learning to strike true notes and chords on the piano and in her life, and Paige poetically talks of a time to keep – a time between seasons. Tricia describes the resilience of our True Self and how to keep it shining, Kaylee reminds us to speak up and use our voices in our unique place, Big Ocean Women cottage reports provide examples of service and compassion, and Norma introduces us to a new team member, Katrina, who relies on the compass of family. So, take a breath, get your bearings, and enhance your life’s journey with this month’s treasures.
(Ernest L. Wilkinson, The President Speaks, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [5 October 1960], 15).