A lot is said about integrity, but examples of its practice are not always seen on a daily basis. Conversely, there are controversial situations in which actions that could be considered ethical are questionable due to their results.
I have experienced three distinct, real-world situations demonstrating that a peoples' integrity and civility level can make a difference in people's daily lives, especially considering that small actions build remarkable results.
In the first situation, I was traveling with my wife to enjoy a 1-week vacation in London. After a week, I remained in the city for work meetings while my wife returned to Brazil. On the day she left, we used the London Underground to get to Paddington Station, where we would board the Heathrow Express, that is, an exclusive train bound for Heathrow International Airport. Upon arriving at one of the numerous ticket offices there, I explained that I needed a round-trip ticket for me and a one-way ticket for my wife, given that she was traveling back home while I had to return to the city. The attendant politely informed me that if the ticket were purchased at her ticket office, she would have to charge both tickets as a round trip. However, the attendant also indicated another ticket office in which I could buy a one-way ticket for my wife.
In the second situation, I was in Stockholm, having bought an expensive dictionary worth two thousand Swedish kronas. When leaving the bookstore, I went to the train station to buy a ticket to Oslo. I left the dictionary on the counter while presenting my passport and paying for the ticket. After having bought the ticket, I left the station and approximately 1.2 miles away from the station, I noticed that I had forgotten the newly purchased dictionary on the station counter, right next to the ticket office where I bought the ticket. Dismayed, I decided to go back and try to find the dictionary at the station's Lost and Found department. To my surprise, upon arriving there, I found the book on the counter. Even with hundreds of people passing around, no one was slightly interested in an object that wasn't theirs.
In the third situation, I was returning from a trip to Rio de Janeiro and arriving at Congonhas, the domestic airport of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Besides my checked luggage, I had brought with me a carry-on bag and a briefcase with a Surface tablet to work remotely. After ordering an app driver, the driver kindly got out of the car and told me to rest in the back seat while he took care of storing my luggage in the trunk. A few minutes after arriving home, I noticed that the briefcase with the tablet was missing, so I made contact with the driver, who stated that there was no briefcase in his vehicle. Irritated, I decided to return to the airport and call the police department in order to access the security camera recordings and understand what happened. I was politely received by a police officer who offered to help me in the search. Soon after that, it was possible to identify that the driver, when placing the first suitcase in the trunk, did not notice that the briefcase with the tablet had slipped to the floor, and that he had put only the two suitcases in the trunk. As soon as he left, someone promptly picked up the briefcase from the floor, opened it, possibly to check what was inside it, and then walked into the airport. Because of the recording, the officer suggested that the airport's Lost and Found department should be consulted. Without much hope, I agreed and went with the police officer to the department. To my surprise, the briefcase with the tablet and all the accessories were there with absolutely nothing missing.
These were three different situations that took place in England, Sweden, and Brazil. It's gestures like these that make the world a better place. Integrity and respect for others are the bedrock for community life.