Word of the Week by Mary Katherine Lawrence, GMC Prep Cadet
Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” To have integrity means that a person is not selfish and biased when making decisions that affect other people. People with this quality do the right thing, even when no one is watching. Sometimes having integrity is hard because it could mean going against the status quo. Additionally, integrity can mean “the condition of being unified, unimpaired, or sound in construction.” This definition of integrity means so much to me because I am very passionate about sports. In sports, it is important that your respective team be united to work toward a common goal. If a team is not willing to do things for the good of the team, the goal will never be met.
I have played the game of softball since I was six years old and I started playing on a high competition level when I was ten years old and continue to play at that level today. This means that I travel around the Southeastern United States year-round playing with my team. This game has been challenging at times, but it has given me and taught me more things than I could have ever imagined. It has helped me build lifelong relationships with all different kinds of people; however, the greatest thing softball has taught me as a player and a person is integrity. It has taught me that not everything is about me, and it has taught me to buy into something that is greater than myself.
The sacrifice bunt is easily one of the greatest examples of integrity in the game of softball. When a player gets on base in a close game, it is the next hitter’s job to advance the runner at all cost. In some situations, the hitter is asked to sacrifice her chance to get a hit and be the hero to lay down a bunt to move the runner. Being a teammate with integrity means that a player is more than willing to lay down that bunt with no questions asked. The biggest thing a team needs to be successful is not the most talented players, but players who will sacrifice their glory for the sake of the team—players with integrity. Players who are willing to sacrifice a moment of fame for the betterment of the team will always beat the team with the most talented players who lack integrity.
The quality of integrity is not just seen in athletes. A person does not have to be a part of a sports team to have integrity. It is something that every person chooses to have when they wake up in the morning. Integrity is also something that a person should never let anyone take from them. I am forever grateful for the game of softball for teaching me how to be a part of something that is bigger than myself and play the game I love most with integrity.