When I was growing up, Evel Knievel was at the pinnacle of stardom. As kids, we admired his feats and tried to emulate them ourselves. But mom never approved. Being from Europe, she took a dim view of many celebrities of the time. Of Knievel she’d say, “I don’t like when people play with their lives.”
One things she did value though was integrity. When you gave your word, you kept it. I guess that’s how my own emphasis of integrity was formed.
Little did she know (nor did I at the time) that Knievel shared her value of this rare-ish trait. This from Wikipedia:
One of Evel’s qualities was that he had great pride in his core values. Throughout his career (and later life), he would repeatedly talk about the importance of “keeping his word”. He stated that although he knew he may not successfully make a jump or even survive the canyon jump, he followed through with each stunt because he gave his word that he would. Prior to the canyon jump, Knievel stated, “If someone says to you, ‘that guy should have never jumped the canyon. You knew if he did, that he’d lose his life and that he was crazy.’ Do me a favor. Tell him that you saw me here and regardless of what I was, that you knew me, and that I kept my word.”
Wish that such honor was still valued by our culture!