Honest Words

Tyler - Snowflake, Arizona
Entered on April 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity

Honest Words

I believe in being honest. Although young and unsure of myself, I learned that honesty really is the best policy as I trudged through my high school years.

It was a bright spring morning, and the snow had melted that morning in my little hometown of Snowflake, Arizona. It had been a cold winter and somehow the snow had stuck around for longer than we had expected or wanted. I was excited to get outside and do something fun.

My English class was right before lunch hour. It was common practice for some to skip class and go to lunch early. Along with a group of friends, I was told to go to the library and study while Mr. Moles quizzed the rest of the class. We had gone the extra mile and finished the quiz earlier. With this action, we received a reward. Our teacher had entrusted us with the responsibility of doing as he asked. But we broke that trust.

The quiz was a long one. I knew the students would not finish by lunch time. So my comrades all decided to take the hour off. I was left alone. I didn’t want to be left out. I got up and ran some errands for my mother, who expected me to accomplish her task by the time I came home. I could not go home empty handed. I had no money to buy a lunch that day, and my mother would question why I had come home so early for lunch. Upon finishing her task, I returned to the teacher and explained to him what I had just done, feeling the guilt of leaving school without permission, and breaking his trust.

To my surprise, the teacher only sat and looked at me. He seemed stunned and didn’t know what to say. Finally he spoke. He would give me a perfect score on the quiz, and the others who had left early for lunch, would receive no points. He told me he was proud of me, and impressed with my honesty.

Years later, I was sitting with some high school friends. We joked and talked of passed times. The question was asked about leaving at that time of the quiz, “You wouldn’t do that would you, Tyler?” Before I could respond, a girl who had been in my English class that year spoke up. She explained to the others that she remembered the day I returned to class and confessed my wrong-doing. She said she would never forget what I had done, and that she had gained great respect for me because of that act.

I was proud of myself. Not that I had done anything extraordinary, but I was proud that I had done something that had an impact on her life. I realized the value of honesty in my life. I realized the value of honest words. Words like hers, which have pushed me, and helped me to be more honest with myself.