The day was an unusual one for me–I had the opportunity to hear some of the testimony before Congress from Roger Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee. At times, the verbal exchanges were tense, even between Congressional members. But one thing stood out–the number of times that Congress stated that someone in the room was not telling the truth. It became obvious that with conflicting statements, someone was lying, or perhaps both men were being less than honest. I found myself reflecting on honesty. As a father, I certainly have many opportunities to try to decipher whether one of my children is being honest.
Sadly, the art of honesty has been lost. A broadcast on ABC just last night accused parents of being responsible for their children learning to tell lies. The argument was interesting in as much as it claims children lie for one of two reasons: 1) to avoid punishment, and/or 2) because the child see the parents doing it so casually. I can see their point, but ultimately, lying or telling the truth is a conscious decision at any age. There is that point at which the person decides to withhold the truth for whatever reason. But I contend that the choice to tell the truth could just as easily have been made.
I try to tell the truth no matter what. Yes, I have lied in my life and it was usually done to avoid getting into trouble. And there were times that I got in trouble for telling the lie. In those cases, it would have gone better for me to have told the truth!
Other times, I may have lied to spare someone’s feelings. But in recent years, as the value of truth in society has declined, I hold more tightly to the idea of truth. Honestly.
Lying is simply not worth the effort. One has to remember the lie and be consistent from that point forward or risk being caught in the deception. It just takes too much energy and is too risky. I simply have no good reasons to lie and many good reasons to be honest.
A thought: A person has only a few seconds to answer a question before the answer becomes obvious. In a case of honesty or lying, our own behavior gives us away.
Consider the risk of lying before you try it… it’s really not worth it.