Speak the Truth Always…

Are you as tired of seeing pro athletes beg for penalties as I am? In football and basketball, it’s as common as the high five. I was watching a flag football game a few weeks ago waiting for Caleb’s game to begin when the blue team threw a long pass down field. The receiver failed to make the catch, and instantly started making the recognized sign for “throw the flag.” Yes, even the little guys playing flag football have learned to call for a fix rather than accept the result of the play.

Sometimes calls are made that shouldn’t have been and at other times the officials miss the call. But shouldn’t we be teaching our kids to play their games straight up. When did you last see a player say, “I stepped out of bounds” or “It wasn’t a catch, it touched the ground.” We see grown men argue with officials about calls they think are wrong instead of accepting the call and playing the game better. I think the core of all this goes back to the mentality of entitlement and self-importance.

But last week a pro golfer proved to be noble in heart and character. J.P. Hayes accidentally played a prototype ball from Titleist in the second stage of Q School. He was sitting in his hotel room that evening and realized that the ball he used on one hole was not approved. So he picked up the phone and called an official and said, “I think I may have a problem.” He explained the mistake. The following day they confirmed it with Titleist and he was disqualified.

This admission surely cost Hayes opportunities to play and to earn on the tour. Had he simply ignored the mistake, no one would have ever known. But J.P. Hayes integrity would not allow that. Now he can sleep at night, look at himself in the mirror and teach his kids to be honest about everything – even when it cost them. This doesn’t make him a hero, but it does mean he has integrity.

I wrote a piece in December of 2005 about the movie Kingdom of Heaven (click here). Balian is the main character and his father knights him with an oath on his deathbed. It’s worth revisiting the line from the Knights Oath, Tell the truth always – even if it leads to your death. Our decisions in sports don’t bear this gravity, but in the world we live in, lies are costing our society every day. Being honest may cost you, but lies cost everyone and we can ill afford the luxury of entitlement.

telemicus out

1 Responses to Speak the Truth Always…

  1. cindy smith says:

    I like this one alot. I think he just might be a hero. Hero’s are people of uncommon accomplishment and nobility. This man is that for sure. Thanks for a positive and refreshing example. Well done and great choice.

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