Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bradman-Like Integrity

A group that imitates the Beatles in their appearance travels around the world playing the Beatles music and hooking into the nostalgia that many still have towards this popular music group of the sixties and seventies. From the advertising clips they seem to have the perfect mannerisms and facial expressions.

There are bands of Abba look-alikes, Elvis look-alikes and in Hodgekinville, Kentucky (the birthplace of the beloved President) there is a man who has won the competition as the best impersonator of Abraham Lincoln. As a tour guide he gives the Lincoln speeches, including the famous Gettysburg address and he answers all manner of questions from tourists about what President Lincoln would do in this situation and that.

Skilful though it might be, it is sad to go through life copying another, not having the desire or the freedom to express ourselves. Yet often people play out a role or wear a mask in different areas of their life.

Kurt Vonnegut once said, "We become what we pretend to be, so be careful what you pretend!" We are either living our own life or we are living out somebody else's! We are developing our own life style or we are adopting a hand me down.

Asked what he wanted to be remembered for, cricket’s most famous player, Sir Donald Bradman, responded 'integrity'. Integrity is defined as being whole, honest and trustworthy. A 10 year study of 15,000 managers worldwide identified integrity as the most looked for attribute in a leader [Harvard Review Monthly 3/01]. Sir Donald was an embodiment of an authentic person.

The quality of integrity begins in the quiet recesses of the heart and is nurtured by reflection and formulating principles and values that guide our behaviour.

Geoff Pound

Additional source: Harvard Review Monthly, March, 2001.

Image: Donald Bradman