Each month The Current supports Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) by publishing a guest column connected to one of PACE Character Traits. For the month of June it is Integrity, which is living a set of values encompassing honesty, respect for others, and a sense of personal responsibility.
Integrity has played a large role in my life. Ever since I was young my parents taught me to be kind, tell the truth, and have respect for others…you know, the basics. Growing up with these values has helped mold and shape me to be the person I am today. I grew up in a small agriculturally-based town, where everyone knows everyone. Sports throughout the year are about the only excitement you can get. Some might say that it’s a modern Mayberry. In the spring, I participate in tennis. Now, if you don’t know about tennis, you can play individually (singles), or with a partner (doubles). For me personally, I have always played a singles game. When I play in a match, I have to make that daily decision to do what’s right and fair and to tell the truth, especially when calling lines. It’s up to me to make the right call since there are no line judges. Having integrity has helped me retain my childhood moral values to stay honest and to do the right thing. It’s not only being honest to the person I’m playing against, but being honest with myself to say that I played a fair match with no regrets, or second-guessing my ability to play fair.
Not only is integrity about being honest and having respect for my opponent and myself, but also about being kind. There is a girl who I take home every Monday. Her life has been really, really rough. One night, when I drove her home, I asked what her favorite drink was at the coffee stand. Once in a while, if I know she is having a really hard week, I will go and buy her favorite drink, and write her an encouraging letter just to let her know that there is always someone who really about her. In the letters I never include my name and never let anyone see me put the coffee in her locker. When she arrives at school, I always love seeing her face light up and her day just seems to be happier with more energy and enthusiasm. Having integrity in this situation provides me with a personal boost to keep giving and helping the people who are feeling low and need a little pick me up.
I sit and write about integrity, and I have a hard time talking about myself. I don’t see myself being the person who wants all the attention. I am the type of person to sit back and see other people achieve greatness. I find that when I sit back and let other people succeed, I succeed through them. For me, integrity is about honesty, respect for others, and personal responsibility. It’s also about making the right decision, and doing the right thing even if it means sacrificing something from yourself, or letting go of your own personal needs to help someone who really needs the help. I gain so much more from those types of experiences than if I were to be the center of attention and getting all the glory for myself. I am honored to be writing about integrity, but it’s definitely not easy, by any means, but if I positively touch someone who is reading this piece, then it’s totally worth it.
My name is Kylene Edwards and I am a senior at Davenport High School in Davenport, WA. I am currently active in Volleyball, Tennis, Swing Choir, National Honor Society, and numerous church events. I plan to attend Spokane Falls Community College to obtain my AA degree, and after SFCC, I plan to attend Washington State University to finish with a Bachelors in Interior Design. I hope to find a job in Spokane, WA working through a firm.