This I Believe

Zachary - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007

I believe that honesty should not always be used. People are fragile, and their feelings are easily hurt. Whether one is telling a wife that she doesn’t look fat or lying to keep one’s friend safe, lying can be considered a positive thing.

My friend was addicted to drugs. For years he had passed idly by, not applying himself to anything. He seemed to be withering away slowly. The dark circles under his eyes, the placid expression on his face, and the half-open mouth were the effect the drugs had on him. No one enjoyed being around him when he was high; everyone was annoyed with him. His drug abuse affected everyone around him as if a sickness was slowly seeping out of him.

It took two years for me to notice that something had gone awry. My friend had recently started to skip classes and procrastinate in the classes he actually attended. I came over to his house one day to ask if he had been sick, and both his parents answered the door. His mother had tear stains on her cheeks, and his father had red, puffy eyes. “Do you think our son has been using drugs?” his mother asked. I was now in an ethical dilemma. Either I tell them the truth and never see my friend again, or I lie and hope for the best. “No,” I replied. A feeling of negativity came over me. If my actions cause him to be hurt, I could never live with myself. I decided to take action. I invited my friend over to my house the next day to talk to him. When he slumped down onto my beanbag chair, I started my well-planned speech. “You have to stop using drugs. They are hurting you and everyone around you,” I told him. After an everlasting hour, he agreed to try rehab.

I had solved this situation without his parents because I knew he would only listen to a close friend. After admitting his abuse, his parents enrolled him in rehabilitation, and every day that passed seemed to be brighter. After a few months, he was happier, more energetic, and much more interesting to be around. I was glad that my influence had enough of an effect on him so that he would quit using drugs. This had all been accomplished through lying. One small lie had saved my friend from meeting the certain doom of many other drug users, and it saved him from the disappointment of his parents.

Lying is most often presented as a negative word, but it is not. Lies can save lives, protect feelings, and even change moods for the better. Lying is a positive word in my mind, as long as it is used for the right reasons. My friend’s life had been changed by a lie, and so had mine.