The Rewards of Honesty

Michael - Wellesley, Massachusetts
Entered on March 9, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: integrity
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The Rewards of Honesty

I learned that when facing serious consequences the truth will set you free after an event in 3rd grade which greatly shook me up at the time. It was a stifling hot Friday in early June. I migrated from the soccer field to the swing sets, where I met two of my friends. As young as we were, hardcore gangster rap was our thing, even though we didn’t understand the meanings of three quarters of the words these songs mentioned. We all proceeded to rap a few lines from one of our favorite songs, and soon enough an older teacher, came out, yelled at us, and brought us over to our teacher, Mrs. Y. The teacher who had gotten us in trouble accused us of swearing many a time, yet we lied about it. We all had conflicting notes of apology, alibis, etc, sending us down a slippery slope that led us into more and more trouble. I was in constant fear of being called by my teacher for further explanation, which happened frequently, putting me in a sullen state as well as being angry at the teachers and myself for not being honest. Finally, after a few of the longest days of my life, the terrible ordeal ended as the principal, whom had finally taken charge of the situation, did not feel that our true intentions were bad. Even though the incident was over, it haunted me for the last sliver of the school year and the summer, as I felt I should have told the truth about what we had done.

As fourth grade came around, my friends and I liked the same things as the year before, yet I kept it to myself as well as behaving in general, fearing the possibility of getting into any sort of major trouble again. Then one day during indoor recess on a cold and windy February day, almost all the boys banded together and made a United States jigsaw puzzle. After proudly showing it to our teacher, it was time to clean up. We were all hyper and in high spirits, so we collected all of the pieces and started throwing them into the bin. After creating a huge mess and a lot of chaos, our teacher became furious and yelled at us for several minutes. While this situation was of a far less magnitude than last year’s incident, I was just as scared, fearing a repeat. The next day, the teacher called all the boys in the class to her desk and asked us what happened. Feeling fearful and guilty, I mustered up courage and simply responded that we were throwing the puzzle pieces and created a mess. After hearing those words, the teacher thanked us for being honest and said we could go. My honesty helped lift a huge weight off my back, teaching me the great things that telling the truth can do for you.