Posts Tagged ‘integrity’

“I am grateful for an ethical son.” – Doc Meek

Friday, November 12, 2010. Today I am grateful for an ethical son, who knows how to do the right thing, no matter what. Not only that, he does it, no matter what. Sometimes there is a high price to pay for personal integrity.

Here’s a tribute to my ethical son, and others like him the world over. It’s the 45 life lessons Regina Brett wrote.


Regina Brett; image from Wikipedia:

This was written by Regina Brett, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Some unknown person on the internet circuit took the liberty of aging Regina to 90 years old, presumably in a misguided attempt to enhance the credibility of her “life lessons.” Regina is actually age 54 (in 2010). In my opinion, she has the wisdom of a person much older.

I think the core of this wisdom came out of her terrible bout with cancer at age 41:

“To celebrate growing older, the day before I turned 45, I wrote the 45 lessons life had taught me to that point.
It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 54 in 2010, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey
is all about..

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God
never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18.. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is
up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for
an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will
this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did
or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come…

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Thank you, Regina Brett!

Doc Meek, Friday, November 12, 2010, at Bistro 112, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
“What if you are smarter than you think?”
Learning Specialist

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“Honor is better than honors.” – Abraham Lincoln

To enlarge photograph of electrical substation, click on it: A 115 kV to 41.6/12.47 kV 5 MVA 60 Hz substation with circuit switcher, regulators, reclosers and control building at Warren, Minnesota in the US. From Wikipedia:

To enlarge photograph of electrical substation, click on it: A distribution substation in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada disguised as a house, complete with a driveway, front walk and a mowed lawn and shrubs in the front yard. A warning notice can be clearly seen on the “front door.” Photographs from Wikipedia: …………………………………………………………………………………………….

They called him “Mr. Integrity”

My Dad, James Collins Meek II, worked for West Kootenay Power & Light Company (WKP&L) in British Columbia (BC), CANADA, for 42 years. Ultimately he became the supervisor for WKP&L in the Kelowna District. The company men in Kelowna dubbed him “Mr. Integrity.” They had many reasons for doing this.

One of the reasons they called him “Mr. Integrity” was that he always made sure that he spent company money as if it were his own money. And he was very responsible with his own money. One of the results was that the “integrity disease” became contagious and the men who worked for him caught the “disease” as well. This made for an honest and frugal operation, which the company greatly appreciated of course.

Dad also made sure that he gave value for his own personal labor dollar. It was important to him not to “waste time” on the job. Over time, his men followed suit. It became part of the culture of the company group.

What’s this got to do with learning?

Even respect and integrity can be learned.

The Retirement Celebration Joke

Karl Wolfe worked for my Dad in the Kelowna office of WKP&L, right up until the time my Dad retired. Karl had built a miniature electrical substation switchboard to be used to play a retirement celebration joke on my Dad.

The plan was to have Dad try to figure out how to make the correct critical sequence of electrical switching moves for several hypothetical high-voltage lines. This switching job was supposed to get the electrical power back on to an area whose high-line power source was down and out.

Then, because it was a very complex sequence of switching moves, the  joke idea was to have him surely fail, sounding a big alarm buzzer. Whereupon one of “the boys” was going to pull the main switch for power to the hall we were in for the retirement party, plunge everything into darkness, and blame my Dad for the ensuing chaos.

“You’ve made a big mistake in the power switching!” they were going to yell. “You’ve made the power fail–all the way back to the hydroelectric dam power source!”

“Region-wide failure!”

All in “good fun” of course.

So the trap was set

Here’s where the integrity comes in. In multiple forms. Watch.

My Dad got up to face the challenge of this miniature switching panel. He could see this was a complex matter. He felt it would be a personal embarrassment if he failed in both his electrical knowledge and in his duty to protect the power delivery, even in this purely hypothetical case.

He knew nothing about the planned joke of course. He figured his men were simply giving him his “final test” in the power industry, prior to his retirement.

[Aside to the reader: power industry people see themselves as having an almost sacred duty to keep the power flowing, no matter what.]

My Dad looked at the complex switching task facing him, and knowing Karl Wolfe was a man of integrity, silently reasoned, “Karl built this switchboard, so I know he would not design it so as to guarantee failure and embarrassment. There is a way through, complex though it may be.”

To enlarge photograph of electrical substation, click on it: A 50 Hz electrical substation in Melbourne, Australia. This is showing 3 of the 5 220 kV/66 kV transformers each with a capacity of 185 MVA. From Wikipedia: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Failure is not an option

My Dad just could not bring himself to fail in the power industry, even in this hypothetical case.

So he put his knowledge and experience to the test, worked methodically through the complex switching sequences, and wow! He got through it successfully without creating any massive power failures. Or little ones either. Bingo! The switchboard gave the “power restored” signal and Dad sat down satisfied.

All the men sat around dumbstruck.

The guy had succeeded, against all odds! They couldn’t play out the joke because he hadn’t failed!

[Personally, I would have just sounded the buzzer anyway, pulled the switch on the hall power, plunged the place into darkness, and played out the big “power failure” joke on my Dad anyway! :o]

The men had too much integrity for that. They had too much respect for my Dad.

The joke was based on Dad’s failing and he did not fail.

They honored his success.

To integrity!

Doc Meek, Sunday, June 6, 2010

At Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. Contrasting News Item:

The money and valuables found in [this one drug lord’s house] would be enough to pay for health insurance for every man, woman and child in the USA for 12 years! There are believed to be approximately 27 more [drug lord houses in this particular country] not to mention the ones in other countries who are enriching themselves in the drug trade. These people have so much money, they make the Arab oil sheiks look like welfare recipients. Their money can buy the best politicians, the best cops, the best judges, whatever they need they just throw down stacks of cash and it is theirs! This is why the drug problem is so difficult to fight.

Click photo to enlarge Click photo to enlarge
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