FROM THE PULPIT: Live with your integrity intact

Published: Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 07:44 PM.

Have you ever had to write letters of recommendation for someone?

They are often needed for academic purposes like scholarships or entering levels of higher education. They are often needed for seeking employment.

Sometimes, writing such letters is easy. A person is well known by the letter writer so glowing and truthful remarks seem to flow onto the page.

Sometimes, writing such letters can be a chore. Perhaps the person who has requested such a letter is not well known. Perhaps the person being referred hasn’t had much life experience. Or perhaps the person being written about is simply a scoundrel and kind words are hard to find.

A joke that has been around for some time shows how one might be colorful with handling negative information.

The Smiths were proud of their family tree; their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower, and descendants included senators and Wall Street wizards.

They decided to compile a family history — a legacy for their children and grandchildren — and hired a well-known author. Only one problem arose: how to handle the fact that great-uncle George was executed in the electric chair. But the author said he could handle the story tactfully.

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