Mayor’s Corner: Focus on Integrity this month

By Hank Stratford on April 7, 2014

Stratford Hank websiteDuring the months of March and April the focus of the Do the Right Thing program is on Integrity. In thinking about this universal character trait, I was reminded of a story I once heard about a high school football player named Joseph

It was the championship game. The play called for Joseph to run the ball up the middle for the go-ahead touchdown. He took the handoff and plunged into the line. He knew he was close to the goal line, but didn’t know how close. As he was pinned at the bottom of the pile, he reached his fingers forward a couple of inches and felt the goal line. It was two inches away.

At that moment he considered pushing the ball forward. He knew he could do it and when the referees finally pulled the players off the pile he would be a hero. No one would have ever known.

Joseph had dreamed of this moment and now it was within his reach. Joseph then remembered the often spoken words of his mother, “Joseph, do what is right, no matter the consequence. Do what is right and things will turn out okay.”

Joseph wanted desperately to score the touchdown. But more than being a hero in the eyes of his friends, he wanted to be a hero in the eyes of his mother. He left the ball where it was, two inches from the goal line.

As we continue to work on Integrity, I hope that we can all have that quiet confidence that comes from doing what is right, even when no one else is watching.

I hope the Do the Right Thing program has spurred conversations in your homes and in your lives. The program has helped me as I consider these basic character traits and I recognize ways that I can improve.

I also hope to see many of you at Clayton Cleans Up on April 26. We will be meeting at 9 a.m. at the City Hall courtyard.

Feel free to contact me with questions and comments by email at

Previous post:

Next post: