MY FATHER always knew when I lied as a child.
He’d tilt his head towards me, allowing his glasses to slide down his crooked nose, and peer over the thick rims of his glasses. He’d give me a calculating look, one I’ve stored into memory well, and give a low rumbling hum acknowledging my lie.
During moments like these, he reminded me of a bear (sometimes Yogi Bear, when he was funny, but in cases like this like a disgruntled papa bear). His beer belly and height added to the effect.
He’d tower over me, waiting for me to confess.
I always did. (Yes, I ate the whole chocolate bar. Yes, I broke the bowl. Yes, I ripped off a good chunk of wallpaper off our walls. Yes, I totally dropped water bombs out of the window.)
He was like a lie detector, smelling lies a mile away. When I tried to weasel my way out of situations, offering excuses or tiny white lies, he’d just tilt his head and hum.
My father always told me not to lie.
“You don’t want to be remembered as someone who lies,” he told me growing up. “What kind of person do you want to be?” he asked, looking at me seriously.
That kind of stuck.
My father valued honestly highly. Growing up during the war in Germany, going through the reunification and facing challenges, honesty was a big thing for him and his family. Truths matter when you try to live through struggling times.
During the times when I thought my white lies slipped through his radar, I’d later feel guilty about these and slink my way into his room and explain myself.
To him, integrity was important. Honesty was a good foundation for the makings of a good person and you making a difference in your life and the lives of others.
It’s funny how recent discussions have been going around on how honesty has little place in the discussion of the upcoming polls.
“They all lie,” people would say, talking about politicians.
Since everyone lies, honesty shouldn’t be on the table for discussion, they say. Sweep it under the rug and turn a blind eye.
But should it? Should we just be accepting of the fact that “everyone lies” and just let senator-wannabes go their merry way? Should we accept it when people say that honesty “was not a requirement” to become a senator?
Because, I thought all along, we were asking for a more honest government? Or am I wrong?
So if they all lie, shouldn’t we all be peering over our glasses and eyeing each of our future elected officials critically?
Whatever happened to “Honesty is the best policy”?
March 23, 2019
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