William Shakespeare once said, “Honesty is the best policy. If I lose mine honor I lose myself.” I believe this is true. I will never forget the time when I had to make a difficult decision that changed my perspective on the way I thought about life.
When I was six, I had a love for baking. One day I begged and begged my mom to bake cookies with me even though she claimed she wasn’t up for it. After awhile of pleading we began the process. First we made the batter, and then we sloppily placed the moist dough onto the pan. The batter smelled so delicious I was tempted to eat it right then and there but I forced self control upon myself. My mom carefully placed the cookies in the oven and ran upstairs to grab the ringing phone, promising me she would be back soon. I watched the dough sit there lousily making no progress whatsoever but soon realized it was just me and the cookies. I stared at them, and then the oven knob and proceeded to turn up the heat on the oven. Shortly after, a bitter aroma filled the kitchen making my house smell like a pit of smoke. I panicked unsure of what to do. My mom quickly ran downstairs attempting to save the cookies, knowing I would be useless. She went to turn off the oven and realized the oven was not at the same temperature she left it. Shortly after, she began to question me, although she clearly knew it was me who stupidly did that.
All I remember was lies pouring out of my mouth. I felt impatient and absent minded. I felt impatient that I was not able to wait 5 extra minutes for the cookies to cook properly, and absent minded that I hadn’t thought twice about what I was doing. I wanted to tell my mom what I did but I was scared to get in trouble. Finally I found the courage to explain to her what had happened and, instead of getting the furious, angered mom I was expecting, I got an understanding mom. She told me that everyone made mistakes but if I had told the truth in the beginning then it would have saved me a lot of trouble and stress. Even though that experience was not a big deal, it taught me a lesson that I will always remember.
Another time when honesty has played a role in my life was at school. One time in science I completely forgot to do my homework. I lied and began telling my teacher that it was extremely difficult for me. She told me if I was having trouble she would stay after school with me that day even though she was not originally staying after. I started to feel guilty because I did understand the homework, and I would be wasting her time and my own. When I finally told her the truth I got into more trouble because I lied. She told me that if I told the truth from the start that I just forgot to do my homework then the consequence would not be as extreme.
I believe in honesty. Honesty is an extremely important role in my life. When you lie you get stuck in a web that keeps growing and makes the situation more difficult for yourself. In the end you’re going to have to tell the truth anyway, that’s why it is easier to be honest from the start. When I was younger, I believed I could get away with lying. Now I understand that lying is not okay and that people respect honesty, I respect myself more for being honest. When I make decisions now I think about the uneasy experiences I have had lying and it helps me make wise choices. Honesty really is the best policy. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.