Ethics, morals and integrity equal trust

Margia and I recently attended the 4-H Gold Star Banquet at Baylor University with Cheryl Walker and the proud parents of the three young people from Milam County that were recipients of the highest award presented by the Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service.

Purpose of the gold star award is to recognize outstand ing achievement, leadership, and contribution to the county 4-H program.

Winners from Milam County were Madeline Kostroun, Natasha Ramthun, and Tyler Vrazel who were recognized along with 20-plus other teenagers from 18 different counties.

Our congratulations go out to these outstanding young people. You’ve seen their pictures in our local newspapers when they were recognized at our local banquet held recently in Thorndale.

You might ask, “Why are you writing this article?”

In a recent column I pointed out the county helps finance the AgriLIFEExtension Service to the tune of about $100,000 per year. They run the 4-H program.

In another recent column I pointed out that we help fund the three-county Juvenile Probation Department to the tune of a little over $100,000 per year. The banquet speaker had a very fundamental message which, in my opinion, confirms the importance of our expenditures for the former, and the failure to do enough work with young people like in 4-H adds to the reason why we end up with the latter expenditure.

He presented a formula for trust which goes like this. Ethics means knowing right from wrong. Morals are deciding to do what is right.

Integrity is doing what is right consistently. Trust is the result. You must earn trust by consistently doing what you say you will do, thus people can depend on you. In formula format: Knowing right + Deciding right + Doing right = Trust. Wow! How corny. But how true.

Probably none of those two dozen young people that were there that night needed to hear this.They were the cream of the crop.

But oh, how so many of their peers back home need to hear it.

Oh, how the young people that appear in my courtroom each week needed to hear it repeatedly in their early years.

And how many of the adults in today’s world need to heed this message.

Congratulations gold star winners, we need more leaders like you.

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2011-11-10 digital edition

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