Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea

Photography is my hobby and my favorite store for supplies is B&H. They are owned and operated by an Orthodox Jewish family. Today happens to be Shabbat and they are closed from Friday afternoon till Saturday evening. Sometimes they are closed for days at a time during Jewish holidays as well. Yet, they have a loyal following of customers who will patiently wait to place their orders, however important they might be. Neither is B&H particularly concerned about lost sales. I respect them for that.

Somehow in an effort to earn more money we forget what is actually important in life. We give in to work demands and take time away from our family, our friends, on weekends. Life doesn’t stop because someone wants to place an order, no matter how big and precious moments can be lost. Let’s not forget the meaning of Shabbat – to disingage from work, to take 24 hours to reflect on the week just past, and to contemplate on the week about to start.

Ayn Rand, for all her flaws and shenanigans, said this in “Fountainhead”:

“Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea”

B&H is upfront about their schedule. Their customers can take it or leave it. They can either accept that or go shop at a competitor. It just so happens that B&H offers probably the best customer experience in their field and most people are willing to accept their terms. B&H is confident in their ability to serve their customers and they are at peace with a possibility that they may lose some sales.

It is important to remain true to one self and have this degree of integrity. B&H stands by an idea that it is important to take a day away from work, to disingage, to reflect, and to meditate. Their customers respect them for that.

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