This I Believe

Matt - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Homage to Truth

I believe in telling the truth. Everyone lies; in my opinion it is human nature to lie. But every time I have lied in my life, it has hurt me. Lying never helps, it always has a detrimental effect. Whether the lie is about a homework assignment, something you regret, or something you once said, it is always detrimental to the situation. It does the opposite of the effect you wanted. Being raised by a mother who is mortally opposed to lying, the idea that “honesty is the best policy” has always held much sway in my life. I’m not saying that I have never lied in my life, the situation is quite the opposite; I lie all the time. Even if that lie is something so small it seems to be insignificant at the time, it can and will come back to bite you in the ass.

Take an example from my own life. It was the first day of high school. I was desperately trying to find a group to latch onto, so I told someone, who was wearing a Fender guitar shirt, that I played the guitar. He then promptly turned around, picked up a guitar, and handed it to me. He said, “Do you know American Idiot?” I of course had never touched a guitar in my life. So I lied myself out of the situation again. I made my excuses and hid from them for the rest of the day. I haven’t even said hello to that group of people since the first day of school, a year and a half ago. At that precise moment, when those people knew that I had lied to them, all of their trust in me flew away. When you lie to someone, they can’t trust you. When someone lies to you, you can’t trust them.

Telling the truth is always the best option. If you come clean with someone, yes you did wrong, but you are already helping to gain back the person’s trust in you by owning up to your fault. Think about the two alternatives. On one hand you could be lied to repeatedly, and finally find out the truth. And you will find out the truth, no lie stays a lie forever. On the other hand, you can own up to your problem early, and get extra bonus points from the person you are coming clean with. In all possible circumstances, telling the truth will be the best in the long run. This I believe.