This I Believe

Craig - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity
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The Importance of Honesty

Many people think that honesty is overrated, and that one little lie here or there can’t hurt. But, I believe differently. I believe that the truth tells what type of person I am and the standards that I live by.

All my life my parents have told me the importance of telling the truth, but I never really understood until I was six years old. I wasn’t the first wide eyed six year old stuck in a candy shop and faced with the decision, to steal or not to steal. And I sure wasn’t the first to walk out of that store a cavity richer, but not a cent poorer. But thanks to my mom, I might have been the only kid caught red handed, forced to spit out the candy, take it to the shop owner, and apologize to the whole store for my wrongful behavior over intercom.

For a year after that incident, my mother made me hold her hand every time we went shopping for fear of me,” Straying off and doing something I shouldn’t” ( mom talk for teaching me a lesson). During those trips I hated her and tried to think of why she was putting me through the agony of looking furniture, when instead I could be off looking at the hottest new toys. It clicked in my brain that it must be tough for her to trust me because of my incident earlier that year, and I knew that it would take hard work to gain back that trust that I had lost.

As I’ve matured and I look back on my life, I see that honesty is not just a choice you make about what you do or say in different situations. Being honest is living a life of integrity every day. A decision to live by this standard regardless of how hard it may be reveals who you are. Honesty is everything you do and say. Honesty is the daily routine of doing the right thing. But most importantly, honesty is knowing that the actions you take and the words you say will form an image of you to the world that will stay with you forever.