For over 10 years now, the goal of the Galt Community of Character Coalition (GCCC) has been to motivate and inspire good character throughout our community. For January and February, integrity is the character trait selected for focus by our community.

Integrity can be defined as the continual adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. When we translate this into our everyday lives, integrity can be summed up as doing the right thing for the right reason even when no one is watching. Integrity requires that you choose your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain. As former NFL coach Tony Dungy said, “Integrity is the choice between what’s convenient and what’s right.”

To ensure that integrity is a daily part of your life in 2020, choose or revisit a set of rules, morals, or principles that you believe will lead to a happy, satisfying life, as well as a better world. You may subscribe to the ethics of a particular religion, or you may develop your own personal code, based on your own core beliefs and experiences of what is right and decent. Decide what you can do in your life to align your actions more closely with what you have chosen as your beliefs. Be aware every day of the decisions you make, no matter how small.

If you are on a mission of self-improvement for 2020, make your resolutions go further by resolving to live each day with integrity. How you treat other people says a lot about the choices you make. The fact that nobody’s perfect does not give us license to violate what we know is right. Stand firm on your convictions. Be a person of integrity.

Clearly, it is easier to just go along to get along with others, to take the path of least resistance, because standing up and doing the right thing is not always that easy. It goes back to what Coach Dungy said.

Will you be defining yourself based on personal gain or based on what is right?

Helen Keller also left us wise words about this topic: “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

So, how will you define yourself in 2020? Let 2020 become the year that we individually and as a community recommit to integrity in our daily lives. In addition, the GCCC is seeking nominations to honor those who are role models of integrity in our community.

Perhaps you know someone, a group or an organization in our area, that can be seen as a role model of integrity. Or, maybe you know someone whose actions that demonstrate integrity have made a huge impact on our community. If you know someone who is deserving of this honor, you can nominate that individual, group or organization for the 2020 Galt Integrity Award in the following way: Submit your nomination form printed in The Galt Herald, and mail it to GCCC, P.O. Box 92, Galt, CA 95632, or email your nomination to barbarapayne@softcom.net. Be sure to include the name, address and phone number of your nominee. Write a brief explanation of what this person or group has done that demonstrates integrity. Be sure to include your own name, email address and phone number, so we can keep you updated on the selection process. Deadline is Feb. 28.