How often do you tell the truth?

Mairel - Norfolk, Virginia
Entered on November 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity

Everyone has something they truly believe in; something that has made them who they really are. I myself have various beliefs, but my main one is honesty. I’m a strong believer of the old-fashioned cliché “honesty is the best policy.” I believe that if you lie eventually you will get caught and that lie will catch up to you. I have had various experiences with this subject. I don’t lie because I don’t feel the need to do so. But how did I come to this conclusion?

It all started when I was in the fourth grade. As a child one often lies to assure they don’t get in trouble, but eventually their parents find out and then the child ends up grounded. I had always been a “good kid,” but I was involved in an incident. In order to make sure I didn’t get in trouble I passed the blame. My dad, who seems to have a strong belief in honesty, didn’t exactly buy my lie; especially since all the evidence lead to me. He was able to match up all the clues and that’s when I got caught. He wasn’t too upset about the incident anymore, but what really set him off was the fact that I tried to lie to him and thought I could get away with it.

My punishment was as follows: I was to kneel on rice for two hours facing the wall without sitting down for a single second to rest. I was left kneeling helplessly in the dining room as he raided my backpack and room for anything else that might have resembled what caused “the incident.” Not to mention I was grounded for two weeks after that. Two hard weeks of no TV, no video games, no playing with friends, no riding my bike, no sweets, and no talking on the phone. My new daily routine became: wake up, go to school, come home, do homework, eat, and go to bed. After those two rough weeks had passed, I was more grateful for the things I had and I learned to never lie again. It was embedded into my head: lying equals trouble. I sure didn’t want anymore of that.

Another example: Just recently I had a huge break-up with my best friend of two years. I knew the second we got to Old Dominion University our friendship would eventually fall apart, and so it did. I took the high road and just met other people. I made my new friends and it turns out she met the same people. She began lying to discredit me, but I didn’t bother fighting back. As time went by I kept getting to know my new friends more and more. That was when they began realizing that everything my ex-best friend had said about me was false. Since the truth was revealed, they stopped hanging around that person because the more time they spent with her, the more they realized they didn’t want to be associated with her. She proved to be undependable and untrustworthy.

These are prime examples of what happens when one lies. My childhood story has helped me realize that it’s not what I did that was wrong, but the fact I tried to cover it up afterwards, was what sealed my fate. Although it was a harsh lesson, it was very effective. It is easier to pass the blame and simply lie, but I believe if you just tell the truth, sometimes you’re just better off that way. Maybe the punishment won’t be as bad. Remember “honesty is the best policy.”