Are we learning the right stuffs today? What do we learn from everything that’s happening around us? At home, at school, on the street, in our neighbourhood, from the media and around the world…
We tirelessly teaching our children to do the right thing, say the right words, to admit when we are wrong and to have a forgiving heart to those who are innocent and ignorant. Parents with the right frame of mind would preach all those, if not more, to our young children hoping that they’ll grow up to become someone responsible with great conscience.
For parents, it would be dreams come true when our children could differentiate between good and bad; and act responsibly. Since young we were taught that ” Honesty Is The Best Policy “. But, are we adults, being the role models to our children, do as we preach?
Children these days are very smart. They are like fresh recorder and camcorder, able to replay what you had taught them as opposed to what they see you just did. If we make excuses for our wrongdoings, aren’t we sending mixed messages to them, like, I can do it but you can’t. Or, only adults are allowed to break or bend rules…AHA! So, once they become adults, they get the license to bend or break rules too?
Watch yourself when you say something, do or not do anything, around the children. When we thought they aren’t looking or listening, they are actually paying attention. Children are always fascinated by adults’ speech and action. They will not hesitate to question you when they see or hear something that is unacceptable to them. Then, you must be ready with valid answers. So, when we tell them to be honest, we must also show that we can do it and live with it.
Some of you may ask, what about “white lies”? If it is to protect a person, depending on the situation, I guess, white lies might be allowable? Someone told me that not all questions need to be answered. In this case, we may choose a non-committal position by not giving any affirmation, when confronted with a chance to tell a white lie. No one can force you to do otherwise. If, however, you inevitably did that in front of the children and they know what’s going on, I think you just owe them an explanation.
If you preach Honesty, first be honest to yourself, then to people around you. Remember the story about the boy who cried “Wolf”? Once or twice, people will still believe you, but once too many times, no one will be able to trust what you say or do next time. As I’ve always told my children, when you try to lie, the one most important person you lied worst to is Yourself! And, once you feel comfortable lying, you tend to believe in your own lies and start treating them as true. Following that, you will not be able to differentiate between truth and lies anymore!
Lastly, being honest means you don’t have to carry a heavy burden of guilt around you. Guilt can suck the life out of you, if you are not careful. That’s why people with clear conscience will always be happier people. They can taste what they eat, they can sleep like a log and they don’t have to always look over their shoulders guiltily.
So, Honesty is still the Best Policy!
~ Alice N.