Thursday, June 16, 2016

Remember When Honesty Was Important?

"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."

~Winston Churchill

We sure have come a long way in America since we valued such outdated principles as "truth, justice and the American way!" Sometimes I wonder if we even know what the truth is anymore.  Nobody seems very concerned about it.

When I was growing up, every kid knew what the truth was.  If you shoved little Johnnie down causing him to skin his knees all up, then deny it when questioned--that was a lie.  If you threw a baseball through the neighbors window, and didn't tell anybody--that was a lie of omission.  If you left out a few facts to protect yourself, or make your actions seem more honorable than they actually were--that was a half-truth.  That's also a lie.  

The last thing you wanted to be branded was a liar.  It was important to be trustworthy.  And when you got caught lying, you were often punished.  But the really bad part of being caught in a lie was the humiliation--having other people know you told a lie.  And people remembered it, and it took a long time after being caught in a whopper to redeem your tarnished reputation.  I know, the truth of the matter is, I've been there. 

These days, nobody cares much about the truth.  And why should we?  We don't seem to value it anymore.  For those who have forgotten, the truth is based on facts--it is an honest telling of things that have transpired.  It is an honest representation of facts.  But society doesn't punish those who lie anymore.  In fact, we often find ourselves making excuses for the liars.
But it doesn't change things--when you claim you did something you didn't do, or didn't do something you did that is a lie.  When you decide to alter the facts as they are, you aren't "misspeaking" you are lying.  If you tell me you have done something, and you really haven't, you didn't "misremember it" you simply lied to me.  Something is either the truth, or it's a lie.  It's about time we began calling things what they are again.

There is a shrinking group of Americans that still believe that values are important--that character is important.  If more people don't begin to share that view we are truly in trouble.  History is full of examples of what happens to great societies when they drift away from those basic fundamentals that made them great to begin with.

They fall.

~Todd E. Creason

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