The Bell Rock Lighthouse and Foundations of Integrity

April 13th, 2011
Jim Thomas

Eleven miles off the east coast of Scotland in the North Sea stands the Bell Rock Lighthouse. Since 1811 it has stood firm against the onslaught of that sea’s violent storms. The small reef from which it rises is covered by seawater for 20 hours of every day. The builder, one Robert Stevenson and his band of 65 skilled workmen had only four hours each day to chink away stone and gouge a foundation in the bedrock. As result of their superb craftsmanship, painstakingly undertaken, under demanding conditions, the 115-foot lighthouse stands tall and remains in use to the present day.

 A good way to think about the indispensable virtue of Integrity is as a firm foundation. Of the person, the organization, the practice, the calling. It forms a rock-like basis for trust and reputation. It enforces purpose, braces commitment, avoids the alluring temptation, and defeats the ill-advised compromise.

 How? By standing firmly by the right ideas, those that withstand scrutiny and in some manner are beneficial to all concerned. Stated differently, by doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons.



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