The Best Policy

Melissa - Glen Carbon, Illinois
Entered on April 28, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity

I believe that honesty is the best policy. In my life, I have come to realize that I feel better when I know I am telling the truth and that I am being told the truth. However, when I was younger, I was not always truthful and would sometimes tell white lies to get out of trouble. I have since learned that being honest is always better than telling a lie.

When I was eight years old, I received a snowman Beanie Baby for Christmas from my mom. I loved this toy, but I thought that its face was missing something: a mouth. At first, I accepted the fact that the doll was simply not made with a mouth and that he was not supposed to have one. Then, I became fixated on the idea that he needed a mouth, so one day I snapped. I immediately grabbed a pen and drew a line on the snowman where his mouth should have been. I felt good about my decision for about a minute. I then realized that I had made a poor choice and I wanted to eliminate my mistake. I scrambled to find something that would fix my problem. I tried erasing the mouth and wiping it with a wet washcloth, but nothing was working. I finally worked up the courage to ask my mom for help. I was ashamed of what I had done to her lovely gift, so I lied and told her that the pen mark was an accident. I knew it was a lie, but it was easier than telling the truth, or so I thought. My mom washed the pen out with ease and I showered her with thanks and went back to playing. However, the lie I told to my mom kept replaying in my head. After a few hours of agonizing, I decided to reveal the truth to my mom. She was not upset and assured me that everything was okay. Her reaction made me realize that I never needed to lie in the first place. After this emotional experience, I vowed to try my hardest never to lie.

To this day, I try my best to tell the truth at all times. I know that lying is hurtful to both the liar and the person being told the lie. I know how it feels to be lied to, and I don’t like making others feel stressed out and disrespected because of my lies. Also, honesty makes living life easier. I never have to remember what lies I told to whom, and I can always talk to people with confidence. My belief that honesty is the best policy makes me more respectful and makes life more enjoyable and stress-free.