Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Do the Right Thing, Even When It's Hard

Honesty, integrity, trustworthiness: 3 values I'm trying to instill in my children.

Around our house we lump those values into one big pot called "doing the right thing."

Do the right thing.

"Do the right thing even when you won't be rewarded for it."

"Do the right thing even when you will be laughed at."

"Do the right thing even when it will cost you."

It's easy for me to tell my children those principles. It's difficult for me to model them.

I want to win.

I've entered a contest to become one of 10 bloggers for Wyndham Worldwide's Women on Their Way. The 10 winners will receive 200,000 Wyndham Rewards points, $800, and a Flip camera. They will also write about their travels for the Women on Their Way blog.

To say I want to win this contest is an understatement! It combines 3 of my passions: traveling with my children, writing about our travels, and sharing tips with other moms.

Let me repeat, I WANT TO WIN.

But not that way.

According to Wyndham's official rules, "Each vote may be submitted once each day." It has been brought to my attention that Wyndham's voting system makes it possible to vote more than once a day. You can vote on multiple computers. You can vote on your computer and smart phone. And if you are computer savvy enough, you can figure out a way to vote from one computer as many times a day as you want.

One person, multiple votes a day.

I could bend the rule and say it's unclear what "each vote" means. Is it each computer? Each household? Each person?

I could also say other people are doing it so why shouldn't I? And if there's any doubt that others are voting multiple times, let me assure you, I have been majorly working my social network. My friends are asking their friends who are asking their friends to vote. And I'm still at about #18, despite being in the top 10 in a similar contest last year.

I could justify my social network voting multiple times, but when it comes down to it, I don't want to win that way.

Win with integrity.

I want to win with integrity. I want to be a role model for my kids that when doing the right thing might cost you something you really, really, really want - you still do the right thing.

So I'm asking my friends and family to only vote once a day per person until March 31.

If you've been voting for me multiple times a day, please understand that I appreciate your support! I am very grateful for your help! I do not mean to sound ungrateful or unappreciative!! I know that not all of my friends or family have a problem with this gray ethical area but I ask that you honor one vote per person per day.

Then, if I win, we know it's because I deserved to win, not because we found a loophole in the system.

One day I'll tell my kids the story about how their mom wanted to win a really awesome contest but chose doing the right thing over winning. It wasn't an easy. And it wasn't fair, but no one ever said life would be easy or fair. Hopefully my kids will understand my choice and also choose the painful road of integrity.

Have you ever had to choose doing the right thing over something you really wanted?

Ps. By the way, I'd love it if you voted for me once a day until March 31! Thanks!!


Mama Luvs Books said...

Great post! It can be hard to choose the "right way" because a lot of times it is not the easiest way. You need to model it for your kids though.

Stephanie said...

Thanks, Mama Luvs Books. I really struggled with this tonight. I also believe that if you have integrity in the small things when no one is looking (like my little contest) then you'll have integrity in the big things that the whole world can see (like all the corporate scandals we read about these days).

Amy said...

So true...even when it's HARD! I didn't even know you could vote more than 1x per day...it's sad when a contest is set up with rules that basically give so much room for cheating--especially when many will not adhere to the rules and will come out ahead...for now. You'll be thankful, even thought it's hard! In the end you'll have your integrity even if you don't have the points/camera.

Megan said...

I think this is so great, Stephanie. What you said about it being easy to tell your kids to do the right thing but not always easy to model it is so true. I find this happening to me with my 2 year old. I always expect her to say please when she asks for something, yet I often ask my husband to do things but don't say please. Its a small example, but the concept is the same, and will carry on through many aspects of our lives as the kids grow up. Good for you for being ethical and honest with this contest! You for sure have my once a day vote. :)

Ann said...

Okay - I'm dense (and a lot less tuned in that usual these days - it's been a crazy month). I thought I could only vote once! Going back to vote again now, and I'll be on every day!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for your support, Ladies!!

I may not have been clear enough. The rules are a tiny bit vague but I think most people NOT looking for a loophole understand that it's one vote per person. The problem is with the technical aspect of voting. The computer code leaves a giant hole that allows you to vote multiple times. I don't think this is Wyndham's fault. They probably didn't think people would try to find loopholes in the system. I just hope that next year (this is the 2nd yr for the contest) they will fix the loophole.

Megan, your example of saying thank you is great! I remember working on that myself when my oldest son was a toddler. I firmly believe that if you don't have integrity in the little things you won't have it in the big things. It's a slippery slope.

Ann, I haven't done a good job making it clear for my friends to vote every day. I'll have to do better.

Carrie said...

And I voted again - one time - today. :)

Stephanie said...

Thanks, Carrie!

Alysia said...

I was in the same contest and noticed a lot of "unusual" voting activity. Wyndham assured me all votes were "valid" but I can't help but be a little suspicious. I was wondering, did the voting work for you on the last day (March 31) of the contest? It didn't work for anyone trying to vote for me, and I've talked to one other contestant who had the same issue. But Wyndham told me it was working, and that I was the only person who complained (even though I know I wasn't). Just wondering if you had any similar issues.

Alysia said...

you can reach me at alysia75@aol.com

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