Growing up, to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, was a big deal in my family. Honesty is the best policy and keep your word were constant phrases. Lying was considered a sin and as a priest once told me: “sinners go to hell.” When I was young, images of an eternal life in a demonic realm of fire and agony always kept me trying to tell the truth, at least most of the time. And when I did tell a lie, even a small one, I’d get an upset stomach or lose my appetite, fearful I’d get caught.
As I’ve grown older, honesty has become a facet of moral character I’ve come to value more and more. When someone is honest with me, I trust them and the things they say. I believe in their promises and commitments. And because I appreciate that wonderful quality in others, I work at honesty myself. Fact check when I want to stretch the truth, especially to impress someone or widen the truth just a wee bit to gain a bit of edge.
“How many books did you sell again?” my book consultant asks.
Even though I know better I want to say, “Oh, about 1500.” Truth, I sold only 1387. But 1500 sounds more like I know what I’m doing, a first-class author. And if I’m really being truthful, I’d prefer to blow that up by at least double that amount, say 3,000 or 5,000.
So … I work at it. Stop myself from exaggerating. Uphold the truth even if I wish I did better at something like selling books or getting an award or understanding the complexities of modern technology.
And in an age where truth seems to be harder to come by these days, keeping my word, staying grounded in reality, and knowing the facts before I speak, brings more comfort than money or fame.
“Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.” Albert Einstein
How did you find solace this week?
© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved