Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones (1902-1971) was one of the greatest golfers of all time. During the 1920’s, Jones won 13 major championships including golf’s coveted “Grand Slam.” Jones was also an attorney (which still gives me some faint hope that I con combine my day job with my favorite sport).
During the crucial opening round of the 1925 U.S. Open, Jones was addressing his ball, getting ready to hit. Suddenly, he stepped back and called a penalty/stroke on himself because he had seen his ball move. In golf, if you address the ball and it moves, it counts as a stroke. No one but Jones had seen the ball move, but he still insisted on taking the added stroke. Jones went on to lose the tournament — by one stroke. When he was praised for his honesty, Jones responded testily “you might as well praise someone for not robbing a bank.”
Integrity has its own rewards which can be quite personal (since our reputations live long beyond our days). I find vignettes like this inspiring since they demonstrate the character that we can all aspire to. And achieve.