True Happiness

Madeline - Christiansburg, Virginia
Entered on February 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: love
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Madeline Kroll

True Happiness

The root of all trust, of all healthy relationships, the root of having a good moral character, is honesty; the dictionary says that honesty is freedom from deceit or fraud. I like this definition, freedom, freedom to have trust in people, and freedom to not have to worry. What I believe is simple; dishonest people can hurt everyone around them, but being honest with yourself can never lead to anything but happiness.

Even though we know that dishonesty can lead to severe unhappiness, people still lie; they still hurt people, sometimes with intention and often with no intention at all. But why do some people have this flaw in character? Is it because their parents didn’t care enough to teach them? Is it for attention? Peer pressure? I think not, because I myself lie with no excuses.

I do not have the excuse of bad parenting, or peer pressure, or not having enough attention, for I have all of these, and still lie.

The simplicity of making up a story, omitting detail, or simply not saying anything, can all be forms of dishonesty. Many times in my life I have been lied to, but all emotional wounds seemed to heal over time, except one.

My fiancé, Trevor, had cheated on me. At the end of January I could no longer take the one night a week visits, infrequent phone calls, and the text messages that weren’t sent. I knew something was wrong when our usual Red Lobster visits were “ too expensive.” I found out January 27, and my world stopped. No more cute nicknames. No more days of just sitting around and having a blast. No more Saturday nights of restaurants and movies. My life, as I knew it for the past 3 years seemed to have ended. Then, just when the shock of it all was over and the first tear started to form. I stopped and thought of all the lies he told me to have done this, cheating for four months takes thinking and skill, it takes friends lying for him, and lots of people with fake smiles. I then realized that he was becoming very mean and hurtful. I did not shed one tear on him, I did not let myself, for I knew that the thought of losing the only thing he ever really loved would cause him more pain then the thought of him being out of my life forever.

On January 27 I realized that I would never lie to anyone ever again. I had experienced the damage that one lie can cause. I knew that I never wanted to put anyone through that much pain. Being honest with yourself will help you; and make you want to be honest with other people. Honesty is the key to true happiness. I believe in honesty.