When I was sixteen, I got my first job scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins at the University Mall in Orem. My arm got a nice big muscle from all that scoop'n and I got to wear brown polyester.....nice! It was a blast. I made ice cream experiments and had long discussions about philosophies of life...all from a 16 year old perspective.
Two things I learned at Baskin Robbins stand out in my mind today, (1) that you shouldn't put a lid on a root beer float right after you make it and then stick a straw in it and, (2) something this guy I worked with said--he was older and goofy. He asked me which I valued more, love or respect. I knew my answer right away, because I knew a lot back then, "love" of course. "That's all there is, the ultimate reality is that we become beings of love." Duh!
Just today, for some reason, this question came back into my head...love or respect? For me right now, integrity is something that is really important to me. I think integrity is connected to respect. I also don't think love and respect can be totally separated, of course. But, I want to put respect right up there next to love. When a person is alone with one's thoughts, he or she stares into a mirror. "Do my actions reflect who I am?" We all have the right to happiness, but it seems to me that happiness comes with integrity to oneself, in words and actions. When faced with defining moments, who we are is revealed. I've witnessed that myself and I have been both proud and disappointed. Those moments revealed some people as having an honest, true, definition of character. Some people become heroes and, in contrast, heroes sometimes fall off their horses. The beauty in that revelation is that we all can all learn and grow. Do you have integrity...for and to yourself? Did you have integrity to those you love? Or more important did I? We have our whole lives to progress and become better people. There is no end or begininning in progress. Things evolve. We evolve. Hopefully we'll do it with integrity, love, and respect. It's a peaceful feeling.
The above photo is of a doll that my daughter picked out for me today at the Vancouver Art Gallery gift shop. For me, it was perfect.