She was staring directly into my eyes, as if she were trying to read my mind. “Did you throw David’s tennis ball onto the roof?” interrogated my second-grade teacher. Her grin spoke enough to me in itself, as if she were waiting for a negative response. Now, I thought, with the truth, I can hold on to the triumph that she desired, safe from the satisfaction of her arrogance. I answered “Yes, I did, during recess.” Her grin immediately transformed into a blank face of disbelief. “It wasn’t a tennis ball, it was a Spalding,” I expanded.
It was the way I had always been—totally truthful—that my second-grade teacher experienced for the first time. From then on, she didn’t doubt my honesty.
Abraham Lincoln, nicknamed Honest Abe, is considered to be one of the greatest Presidents in United Sates history. He stated “No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.” Like President Lincoln, I always figured that lying is just too hard. With a fake answer to formulate and remember from then on, if being dishonest doesn’t alarm your super-ego, then be truthful because it is simpler.
While remaining with the Presidential topic, consider one of the most popular battles with honesty of my lifetime—the Monica Lewinsky scandal. President Bill Clinton was accused of having an extra-marital sexual relationship with the then-22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, and infamously denied it. Pointing his finger and stating “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” President Clinton lied, trying to be the ideal man in the public’s eye. He admitted to the allegations several months later, but many of our minds had already been made up: the President was now known as a dishonest man. Had he been honest from the start, however, President Clinton’s reputation would not be forever stained with dishonesty to accompany the adultery.
The desire to appear as an ideal person causes dishonesty, but lying voids this whole desire, since the ideal person is definitely not dishonest. Thus, I believe the ideal person answers the question, “Are you honest?” with a “Yes.” Only if he answers truthfully, of course.
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