Alaska – Integrity Matters

by Funhog Family on October 9, 2012

Smile - It's midnight!!!

In the Millionaire’s Mind, Dr. Thomas Stanley found when researching deca-millionaires that the number one characteristic for this group was they all had “off-the-charts” levels of integrity. Can you imagine that type of integrity? I desire for that to be said of my children’s children, that they are known for having “off-the-charts” levels of integrity. Yet, how will they ever learn that type of integrity, unless it is modeled for them. Integrity costs and is seldom the easy road, that is why I struggle at times to make the conscious decision to do the right thing. The really cool thing about God is He is always giving me the opportunity for growth.

All the flights out of Alaska during this time of year leave between mid-night and two in the morning. We knew we were in for a hard night, so we started putting kids to bed at 5p to wake them up again at 11:30p. That would give us plenty of time to make our 1:45a flight home. The night was cold, and the kids were bundled in the car with all the windows fogged up. The parking was really tight at the hotel, so I backed up slowly. What I was not able to see was the two foot cement curb off to the side of the van. We all heard the screech of metal as I backed up into it. I immediately stopped, but the damage was done. There was a foot long gash in the bottom panel under the passenger’s sliding door. The door still had full functionality, but the new scar was very apparent. We drove to the airport in silence, and it was after hours for the rental car company so no one was on duty to receive the car. I had to go into the airport to speak with an rental car agent to tell them about the car. They told me that unless I claimed I did the damage that they would not be able to prove it since there was no one to inspect the vehicle upon check in. I told the agent what happened and where to look for the damage I caused.

Waiting for a jet plane

As I was walking away from the agent, Chloe came up to me with a concerned look on her face. She wanted to know why daddy did not immediately pay for the damage to the car. Chloe had been watching me the whole time to see how her dad would handle this situation. I told her I explained the damage to the agent, and they would need to inspect the damage to determine the cost. She had a look of relief on her face. Integrity costs, in this moment the cost will be monetary and who knows what that number will be as I am not able to review the damage with the rental car company. However, the cost could have been much higher if I would have chosen to hide the damage and then deny it. Either way, my girl was watching her father, learning how to handle a situation. Our kids are always listening and watching what we model. Going to Alaska, they got the chance to see us pay for an extra airline ticket, since Tirzah just turned two but still sits in my lap on the plane. They also got a chance to listen in on all the hotel reservation conversations where I repeatedly had to tell how many kids would be in the room. We could have been dishonest and probably saved some money, but the cost would have been killing the character in our kids. I desire for others to say of my children’s children, they all have off the charts levels of integrity.


ken hawkins October 10, 2012 at 5:34 am

Very cool!

Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight October 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

What a great story! Nothing refines us like parenting, huh? The ultimate ‘accountability’…always, always being watched & learned from!

Funhog Family October 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Thanks Teri. We are continually humbled to know we are the example for our kids.

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