when i was young, i had a friend that told lies. not just once in a while, but all the time. and not just little lies, but sometimes they were huge lies. and almost always about himself and the things he wanted us to believe he had done.
i remember how none of us really believed him, but we didn’t do much to challenge him either. i guess we just accepted him anyway…and accepted that he probably wasn’t going to be telling the truth. it was a sad day when he told a lie about one of my friends.
i don’t remember the details, but it got pretty ugly. and it ended our friendship with him.
back in my day, lying was definitely looked down on. it was something really negative and i was taught this little saying: “honesty is the best policy”. that means that it is always better to tell the truth. it’s always better to keep your word. it’s always better to be a person that people can trust. not that everybody was honest, but it was certainly a value that we held pretty close to our hearts.
but you guys are going to grow up in a world much different than the one i grew up in. your world lives by a whole different set of values. and lying is something that is pretty much accepted as normal. everybody does it.
people will lie to get ahead. they will lie to get what they want. they will lie to avoid being punished. they will lie to get people to like them. they will lie to make themselves look better. they will lie to hide what they are really like. they will lie to keep from losing what they have.
you will grow up in a world where the promises that people make to each other will not be sacred. contracts will be broken. commitments will be always be negotiable. and it won’t even be seen as lying. it will be seen as “looking out for #1”.
call me old-fashioned. or maybe just old. but i still believe in right and wrong. “do not lie” is one of the original ten commands that god gave to his people. honesty is a value that gives every other good value meaning and substance. i know it won’t make a lot of sense sometimes…but being little men whose words can be trusted will be one of your greatest virtues.
sometimes, telling the truth will hurt. sometimes, it will cause you embarrassment. sometimes, it will cause your friends to turn on you…and you may even lose their friendship. sometimes, telling the truth will cost you a lot. and believe me, you will be tempted to lie everyday of your life.
but don’t give in. because once you break trust…especially with people you hold close…it’s a long road back to where you were before you lied.
be young men of honor and trustworthiness. when most things are said and done, your word will be the thing that defines you. it will be what you are known for. it will be what people depend on you for.
and one last thing…the two most important people you should never lie to are your mommy and daddy. there is no one who will love you more…nobody more worthy of your trust…nobody who will ever have your backs better…and nobody who will stand by you closer through your toughest times…than your mommy and daddy.
grow wise, grasshoppers.