A handful of wisdom to start your week, every Monday.

Age: 59
Postmark: Oregon

This week’s memory exercise: Is this good advice?  The answer could be from yesterday, last year, or long ago.  (As always, you don’t have to make any great point, just render the scene as vividly as you can!)

48 responses to “Advice from a Parent”

  1. Nick Gangi says:

    Throughout the course of my life I have heard so many different pieces of advice from various people. In my mind, the best piece of advice that I have came from my brother. As generic as it sounds, he always told me to treat others the best that I could and to be polite. He always told me to hold doors for other people, or let other people go first, and other simple little things like that. Although this seems like a simple little thing to do, I’ve come to notice that a lot of people don’t do this and are impolite. When I do little favors for others, like picking up something that they had dropped, I feel like a better person. Sometimes it even puts a smile on the other person’s face which, in return, makes me happy. When I was younger I always thought that this piece of advice as a stupid thing that I took for granted. Now that I am older, I have come to realize that it can actually be a big deal and little gestures now stick out in my head. If I was asked for a piece of advice, this advice on my brother is what I would try to pass on.

  2. Andy Wells says:

    Last year, a good friend of mine had a saxophone solo in my high school’s winter concert. He practiced hard for it and knew the notes perfectly. But when it came time to stand up in front of hundreds of his peers and their families, he couldn’t play it. He botched it horribly. I can’t overstate how bad this thing was. It sounded like his mouth was completely devoid of moisture. Nearly every note came out as a loud, dry squeak. His shrill jazz rendition of “Up on the Housetop” was literally painful to listen to. To top it off, the number one saxophone player in the school was up right after him. He nailed his solo, incorporating improvisation that sounded professional. The praise from the audience clearly showed the contrast between the two solos.

    Understandably, my friend felt pretty down on himself after the performance. We talked about it together. “I was terrible. How can I even show my face at band anymore?” he said. I consoled him. “It wasn’t too bad. Maybe it wasn’t your best work, but it didn’t sound awful.” Obviously I was lying. If I had told him just how atrocious his solo really sounded, he would have felt even worse. I think this is where the man’s advice might lead people astray. White lies are exempt from the “always” portion of this guidance. In general, being honest will benefit a person. But there are certain situations where being completely honest will do more harm than good. When taken with the knowledge that sometimes lying is necessary, this advice is stellar. If followed strictly, the advice is poor.

  3. Holly Osifat says:

    I think being honest is always the best way to go. At first the outcome from being honest may be bitter but it’s always better to get it all out on the table from the start rather than to have someone find out later that you’ve been hiding something from them. I remember one time I was hanging out in the park with an ex boyfriend. My current boyfriend at the time, was texting me and asking what I was up to when I let him know I was in the park. I didn’t let him know who I was with though. Turns out my boyfriend was at the same park too and wasn’t too happy to say the least when he found out I was hanging out with my ex boyfriend who he hated. Being honest about the situation first would have caused less of a scene than it did when my boyfriend found out on his own.

  4. Luckym Dinh says:

    I think honesty is very important. Honesty is essential for a friendship. A couple of weeks ago my good friend Sarah told me something that was eye-widening. Thinking it was okay to share this new information, I told my other friend Jean about it. When Jean heard this story she immediately felt betrayed by her roommate, so she confronted him. And word started circulating that Sarah was starting rumors about Jean’s roommate. When Sarah found out about the rumors, she immediately called me. She asked me if I told anyone about the information she told me. I paused for a moment to answer and then I decided I was going to tell her the truth. Once I told her the truth, I felt a sigh of relief and she ended up not being mad at me. I could have ruined my friendship with her if I lied to her. I was made aware of this revelation. Because I told her the truth, I believe our friendship has been made stronger.

  5. Richard Chen says:

    Many people would agree that “honesty is not always the best policy”. However, I was in a difficult and frustrating situation my junior year of high school where honesty helped solve my stress. Ever since the third grade I played the violin for the school orchestra, going on every trip and concert they had. In high school, the orchestra always had a major trip in the spring that involved multiple days and hundreds of dollars. I went the first two years, going to Washington D.C. and Florida, respectively. For Junior year we were going to Williamsburg, and I didn’t want to attend that year due to financial issues. My mom was going back to Taiwan for several months that year and I didn’t want to put extra stress on my parents.
    For some odd reason, our orchestra director decided that year that the spring trip was absolutely mandatory – and failure to attend the trip would result in being kicked out of the orchestra. Most people were going, so they had no problem. I told the director that I couldn’t go because of financial reasons and I thought he would understand.
    A few days in class after I told him, it was obvious that he didn’t. Basically, he called me out in front of the whole class, stating that “people” who can’t go because of financial reasons just aren’t trying hard enough and that he found them “incredibly annoying”. I didn’t say anything, shocked that he would indirectly attack me in that way. For the rest of the day, his words rang in my head and caused frustration and anger.
    Right when I got home, I e-mailed him telling him how I did not appreciate his rant. I also explained my reasons of deciding not to go. Although I did not enjoy his little “tirade” that day, I told him that I was proud to be his student and how his passion for music inspired me nonetheless. In the end, I told him that I would not be a part of orchestra the following year – saving him the trouble of “kicking me out”.
    The following morning I got an e-mail response from him that showed he finally understood my condition. He apologized and said I could still be in orchestra the following year. I was relieved – the pressure was finally gone. Even though I stood by my decision of not joining the following year, it was clear after I sent him that email that we had a new found respect for each other. I still stopped by the orchestra room occasionally during my senior year just to say hi. I wouldn’t have done that if our relationship had not been strengthened by that issue the past year. Evidently, sometimes honesty is the best policy – and I will never disagree with that.

  6. Darian says:

    I do believe that honesty has it’s place, it can be needlessly hurtful. If a woman on her wedding day is having a bad hair day don’t you dare tell her. When your 2 year old son asks if you’ll live for ever don’t tell him “no, one day I will die and be gone forever.” Honesty is important when it’s a serious conversation. Things like taxes, Medical documents, mistakes and accidents are things that you should be truthful about. But little white lies are there to help people. someone’s self-esteem is much more important than the truth. Sometimes lying can even be self-less. The best example is in the end of the mike the dark night. I know it’s just a movie but the principle remains the same. By saying that he had done the horrible thus that Harvey, the town hero, actually did they could believe in there city and stop corruption. I think lying is an important part of life.

  7. Chad says:

    I personally think that honesty and loyalty are two words that go that go hand and hand together. If you are loyal to someone, you better be honest to them. I am the type of person, who expresses the way I feel and does not care what anyone thinks of what I say. Others may take this as ignorant but I take it as real. Also, if someone has betrayed me and lied or not been honest, it is very hard for me to earn their trust back. This is partly because it has happened to me with a lot of people in high school. Most of it was from my success in athletics, and kids would get jealous. Kid’s I thought were very close friends of mine, began to say things about me behind my back. Then when I would confront them about it, they would deny them saying it. One instance was when they were at a college camp for football, and I was home. Four former friends of mine, were bashing me while I wasn’t even there. The reason I knew this was because my two closest friends, who were also there and called me and told me. They stuck up for me in front of the group and told them to get a life. Here these kids were hundreds of miles away at a camp, and they were occupying their free time bashing me without me even being there. If I were them, I would be worrying about myself and trying to do the best I possibly could. But that just shows their mentality, and it is eveident by where they are today. So, I decided to call them after right after I was told about it, and they still DENIED it. It was crazy. To this day I still cannot trust these kids as far as I can throw them. Honesty is the best policy and few close friends are better than many fake friends.

  8. Patrick Carvalho says:

    Honesty is one of the best traits a person could have. Always be honest is a great piece of advice, but there are times when it must be forgotten. I have lived by that advice to the fullest all my life, but I have also said my fair share of white lies. Imagine a world with complete honesty we would kill each other. Think about all those times when a wife or girlfriend have asked their boyfriend or husband if their butt looked fat in a certain pair of jeans. This is a question that requires no thinking whatsoever for a man since he should instantly respond with a no. If there were no such thing as white lies all the men who stupidly told the truth would most likely be dumped on the spot, or be put on the couch. Also complete honesty would ruin friendships in situations when telling the whole truth would offend someone dear to you, and maybe even make them feel terrible. Like I stated before this is a wonderful piece of advice, but there is a time and place when it must be broken.

  9. Kevin Bernstein says:

    Always being honest is a tricky piece of advice to always follow. For examples there are always exceptions to telling the full, complete truth and there are other’s that are better left a lie. Although in most cases, telling the truth is the best way to go. When I was 13 i had just gotten into the amazing world of music. I was learning lyrics, how to play guitar, and becoming with the idea that songs can change the world. I really liked a band called “Keepsake Memorial” and heard they were on tour. They came to Philly on a friday night which meant i couldn’t go because I had a soccer game at the same time. I was very involved in soccer during 7th and 8th grade. My friend Brendan and I were really disappointed we couldn’t see our favorite band but luckily Brendan’s brother had a friend named Becca that knew the band personally. She was 18 at the time and somehow her and I were actually very good friends. It turned out, the band needed a place to crash so they wound up staying at her house for the night. So in order to see the band play, Brendan and I decided to sneak out for the first time in our lives. We started our adventure around 12am. We ran from bush to bush, jumping from shadow to shadow, and hiding behind every parked car as moving ones passed. I felt like a spy on the most intense mission of a lifetime. After about 30 minutes of running, dodging, and hyperventilating we got to Becca’s. We walked in to find a ton of older kids drinking, yelling, and playing music. IT WAS AWSOME! Everyone was just having a good time and as Brendan and I introduced ourselves, we quickly became the coolest young dudes there. All the people wanted us to hang out with them and just chill. After a few minutes we got to meet all the dudes in Keepsake. I can honestly say they were the coolest dudes of all time, so chill and funny. Everyone at the party wound up sitting in a circle singing along to all of Keepsakes songs. It was emotional, epic, and energetic all at the same time. We got a picture with all the guys in the band and before i knew it i looked at the clock and it was 5am. I grabbed Brendan, said our goodbyes, and jet home. I made it back by 5:35. 5 minutes before my moms alarm went off. I thought I was good to go and went to bed happy as can be. I was awoken by my mom asking why my keys were left in the backdoor…..My eyes opened wide and stomach dropped. I said “I had to run out to the shed in the back yard to get a tool to fix my guitar”. LUCKILY she took it! I do not justify lying but when it comes to serious grounding and consciences, under certain circumstances its okay.

  10. Shilpa Shegu says:

    Honesty is the best policy, is something I was taught since I was little. I think honesty plays into every lifetime situation whether it’s taking an exam, helping a friend pick out an outfit, playing basketball, and/or relationships. Honesty is what usually brings the true colors of people and helps define a good solid foundation in any situation. I think that without honesty, there really is nothing else but fables, stories, and rumors. Without honest, things simply seem to not have any value.

  11. Molly Driscoll says:

    My parents have always enforced the idea that “honesty is the best policy”. I completely agree with this notion, and have done my best to live by this advice and always be honest. I think honesty builds a person in character. Honesty is the basis of all other desirable traits such as trustworthiness, reliability, loyalty, etc. As a kid, I was never any good at lying. My mom always used to say she could catch me at the start of the lie by “where your eyes went”. She said she knew I was lying when my eyes avoided hers and went down and to the right. “Did you brush your teeth Molly?” she would say. “Yes, mom.” I replied. Then she responded with “No you didn’t, go brush them I can smell them from here”. Now, she could never smell my breath, it never got that bad, but she could tell I was lying from my body language and where my eyes went. As I got older, maintaining honesty always seemed to catch me when lying to spare someone’s feelings, or for what I thought was for the good of the person. Then, of course there’s lying for your own benefit.
    I remember this one time, about a year ago, or so, when I was at a friend’s house. This friend and my other friend did not get along and it was hard when I wanted to hang out with both of them. Anyway, my one friend had called me while I was at my other friend’s house and instead of telling her where I was to spare her feelings of not getting invited, I lied. I said I was at home and had to stay in for the night. I felt terrible for doing it, and knew as soon as I started the lie, I should have just told the truth. My intentions were good, I really just didn’t want this one friend to get upset that she wasn’t invited. But, a lie is a lie. Anyway, my friend found out that I lied and got really mad at me, which was well deserved. There was no point in the lie, yes I may have wanted to spare her feelings, but instead I just made myself seem like a dishonest friend. Thankfully, she eventually forgave me.
    There really is no such thing as lying for the good of a person. From past experiences, it’s much better to tell the person the truth. Yes, he/she may be upset or mad at first, but will get over it because you were honest. Lying, even if you believed you lied for good, always comes back to bite you in the ass.

  12. Nima Karvar says:

    Honestly, or lack there of, has been a huge part of my life. It has been, especially, present during my high school years. For so many years, my sister had been using me as a scapegoat for her mischievous ways. I was always the one getting in trouble for everything she has done. The only way she could do this was by blackmailing me, and she was amazing at it. In one instance, she wanted me to take the blame for a hole she put in the drywall of our house by saying I was kicking a soccer ball. My sister told me that if I took the blame, she would make my life a living hell. So, I had to lie to my mom, just for my own safety. Another instance was earlier this school year when my sister took my mom’s car. She hit a curb and blew out the tire. She wanted to keep the car and keep my mom’s trust, so she made me lie to my mom and take the blame. If I didn’t, her blackmail was to not buy me any more alcohol. So, unfortunately, she got her way, yet again, and I lied to my mom. Honesty is hard to keep up with. After you stop being honest, more lies keep stemming off of that, leading to the worst. 

  13. Jason Wesolowski says:

    The best piece of advice I was given was by my guitar teacher, Pat. I had been taking lessons with him for about 2 years, but in each of his lessons he always had some weird way of connecting things back to his feelings of “doing what inspires you in life”. Pat was a Jazz/Blues/Funk guitar performance major from Berklee College of Music. His lessons always started by discussion of being able to “feel the Music you play” and almost always ended in that saying. He said do what’s going to make you happy in life and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. He spoke of this from experience, because his parents never wanted him to pursue a career in music, but he did anyway. He said it was the best choice of his life. Being able to do something he loves day after day, playing the guitar. Through all of my years of lessons, he didn’t just teach me scales and techniques, but he taught me a great life lesson.

  14. Evan Ostrow says:

    This advice is always conditional. Yes the majority of the time being honest is the best possible course of action. Lies only lead to more lies, and eventually the get out of control and crumble. This also always hurts somebody, even if it is just the lier’s reputation, and future relationships with the people to whom the lie was told. However, the metaphorical fence on which people sit, is white lies. These are small lies told in order to benefit the victim. This totally depends on the situation.

    Back in 2006, my grandfather who was 90 years old was soon to be on his death bed, and rapidly losing memory. I was 12, my sister two years younger, and my parents had a tough time deciding how to handle it as far as informing us. In the end, they told us the truth, and I enjoyed the precious time I had left with Popop. I am really glad that my parents were honest with me and my sister. I feel that this is usually how the victims of a white lie feel – wishing they new the truth.

  15. Brandon Katz says:

    I’d say that most of the time, honesty is the best policy. Overall, my parents are very honest with my sisters and I and I have always appreciated this. A good example was when my grandfather was getting older and in the hospital more and more frequently. I was never told that Poppi was just “going to be alright.” Knowing that every visit to his favorite nurses could be his last, I always visited him as much as possible in and out of the hospital so he felt comfortable and so I could spend time with my grandfather. I am very grateful that I spent so much time with him and I know that I probably would not have felt as motivated to see him if I thought he would be around forever.
    On the flip side, sometimes it is best to bend the truth ever so slightly. I didn’t much like my dates dress for our senior prom. I thought that she looked beautiful in it, but the dress itself did nothing for me. Of course, there was no way I was going to tell my best friend that I didn’t like her dress, so when she asked how I felt about it, I avoided a direct answer, instead telling her that she looked gorgeous with the whole package. While I was certainly not lying, I never actually told her how I felt about her dress.
    Overall, I say “honesty is the best policy,” but it is ok to slip around the exact truth in certain circumstances.

  16. Andrew Chau says:

    Everyone argues that honesty is the most important trait for anyone to have. It is especially important to instill in someone as a child.
    Back in first grade, my class had a sunflower in our room. On the first day of first grade, our teacher had told us that the sunflower was very similar to us. As students of her class, we would grow and blossom with the sunflower as the year progressed. Everyone loved the sunflower. It positioned next to the window, so it would bring color to the room on a rainy day. Some day in April, I had broken the sunflower’s pot.
    It was time for recess and the class was following the teacher out the door to the courtyard. I was at the end of the line because I sat at the table furthest from the door. In the middle of the walk, I noticed that I left my lunch in the room. I ran back during a quick stop without anyone noticing I went to my table and bent over to pick up my lunch. I was not careful on the way back up and had knocked the sunflower over. The dirt, sunflower and shards of ceramic were on the floor. I ran out the room as fast as possible and gotten back in line. She did not notice that I was gone and after the bathroom break, we went out to recess.
    After recess on our way back to the classroom, she announced that someone had broken the pot and that everyone would have in-door recess until that person confessed. That fact had eaten away at me during the entire recess and I confessed. Though she was angry, she was understanding and brought in a new flower the new day. I was given in-door recess for it. During that in-door recess, I had written “It’s not nice to lie” several time before able to go outside.
    By telling the truth, I had saved the entire class from having in-door recess and only had a quarter to half a recess lost out of it. It was a fair loss.

  17. Charles Cramer says:

    I believe that this is probably some of the best advice you can ever give to someone! Honesty is one of those key attributes that most people look for, whether it is when you are looking for friends, looking for a significant other, or hiring someone. However, honesty doesn’t just deal with telling the truth, it goes even further. For example, that temptation some people get when they see a really nice watch they want, or that really nice television! They get the temptation to steal whatever it is. Most people resist because of consequences, yet the people who do it because they are “honest.”
    I can remember a time where I was having the worst trouble with a girl, and I had been lying to everyone about it. I was telling everyone that I didn’t like her, and that I didn’t have a problem with her not liking me. Yet on the inside I was being eaten alive by grief. I was in a state of depression just about all the time. The girl happened to be one of my best friends, and I had fallen hard for this girl. Yet the only thing was that she knew how I felt and I didn’t know that she knew. So I kept trying and trying and did I mention something about trying?
    Then my guitar teacher actually said something to me about how he was there if I needed to talk. The next day I was in his office talking to him for about 2 hours. I had finally told someone the truth, and it felt so good! It was finally off my chest. I started talking to my guitar teacher more often, and next thing I knew I was feeling great about myself and was over her. In my case honesty led me away from the pain, and toward the truth of reality. I have since been doing my best in telling the truth. Now that I look back I think if I had just told someone how it was, I could’ve been out of the depression much faster!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Tyler M. Said:
    Oh boy, did this topic make me chuckle. As soon as I figured out what we were supposed to write about, my mind immediately wandered through the vast sea of lies that I’ve told to my parents in order to save my own skin. However, this topic makes me want to talk about the one time I actually told the truth. It was 5th grade, Mrs. Rumpf’s history class where we had a test on the Red Baron and vikings or something like that. I know just as little about the subject of that test today as I did the day of the exam, so at the time I decided that cheating was the best option. I used my notes during the test, and I go every answer right. But it came back to bite me.
    That night, I felt absolutely terrible. I remember going into my parents’ room after I couldn’t sleep, and I told my Mom the truth, I had cheated on my test. My Mom was none too pleased with me, and she told me to relax and go to sleep, she’d help me apologize to the teacher the next day. Lucky me, the next day was Saturday and Mrs. Rumpf was always in the school Saturday morning.
    So the next day we headed over to confess what I did. Mrs. Rumpf looked at me after I told her my mistake, and she said she really appreciated my honesty. I thought to myself, “Oh boy, you lucked out this time! She’s gonna let you off the hook!” And then she said “But…I have to give you a zero on the test.”
    Looking back now, I’m glad I told the truth. It felt good to be honest and to have my Mom supporting me, even if I did get grounded for cheating and failing that very test. Oh well, life goes on.

  19. Chris Hutton says:

    I believe that always being honest is the best way to live life. Honesty creates trustful relationships, which you need to be successful in life. The more good relationships you have in life the more help you can get with your struggles. You want to be trustworthy and dependable. By being trustworthy and dependable doors will open up for you. Whether it is a promotion or a lending hand.

  20. Oishika Vaid says:

    Mahatma Gandhi once stated, “Truth is God”. My mom always taught me the same. There have been incidents which has only made this belief stronger. One such most recent incident that highlights this factor was in my high school. My classmate had not done her assignment due for class and she told the professor that she had done the assignment but had forgotten it at home. The professor could sense her lie and asked her to call home and ask her mother to get the assignment sent to school. She had no way out. To cover up her previous lie, she lied again. Her computer had crashed. This small matter only became worse as the principal called her mother and asked her mother to come to school to meet him. After a long intense meeting my classmate was suspended for two days and got an extra lot of assignment to do for her class. This was not because she did not do her assignment but because she lied, and each lie was followed by another lie as she needed to lie to cover up her previous lie. Even though this did not hap to me, I learnt from her experience and decided that always be honest as it might not always save you but it will definitely stop things from becoming worse.

  21. Giovanni Adiletta says:

    The Golden Rule: one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. People do not like to be lied to so you should not lie to others. No one enjoys being lied to and a lier goes nowhere in life, who would want to hire some one that is dishonest? Lying does not just pertain to words, it also pertains to actions.

    Last April at about 1145 my family and I arrived at the airport in Harrisburg. Since it was so late and since the airport is small there were not many people there. My family and I retrieved our luggage off of the conveyor belt and were waiting for my dad to pull up with the car when my brother noticed something on top of a counter. It turns out that what he found was an iPod nano that someone must have left behind. Wow, no one at the airport except for us, there’s no way the iPod owner is coming back at this time, Christmas came early this year! My siblings and I thought about keeping the iPod, and not telling our parents that we had found it because they would tell us to turn it in. After some deliberation we decided to show our mother the iPod that we found. We knew that if we showed her there was no way that we could ever keep it, she is just too honest of a person. So we found the lost luggage desk and turned the iPod in. Sure it would have been nice to have an extra iPod, heck I could have probably even sold it and made some money, but you know what, turning that iPod in is more valuable than any enjoyment or money that I could have received from it. Just knowing that by turning the iPod in we made someone’s day and that they would not have to worry about their lost item anymore is a far greater feeling than some measly enjoyment that I would receive from it. The problem with the world is that people lack the step of thinking of others in their mentality. It would not be fair nor would it have been honest for me to keep an iPod that rightfully belongs to someone else.

    Honesty: derived from the latin word honestus or honos which are both modifications of the ancient latin word honor. Being honest is truly honorable, and being honorable brings one far in life.

  22. Bekah Smith says:

    Let’s be honest: nobody is ever always truthful. And honestly, I’m having trouble writing about this one, because I don’t have any one experience in my life that has swayed me to feel one way or another about the truth and being open about it. Personally, I believe lying is inherent in the human condition. No one goes their whole life without lying, even to the most important person in his or her life. Honesty is a concept our parents taught us is key, probably because they didn’t want to be swindled by their off-spring. Lying in miniscule amounts isn’t terrible, especially when the truth will hurt. Living in an oblivious state is sometimes all-right. It’s okay if children believe their dog ran away instead of knowing Daddy accidentally ran him over in the driveway. It’s ok if a wife believes her ass doesn’t look gigantic in her new skirt. Life is hard. We should all experience as little pain as possible. As long as people are honest when it counts, when it’s serious, that’s all that, honestly, matters.

  23. Eric Werbin says:

    The way I’ve always seen it, in most cases, the truth will be revealed in due time. Honesty, while not mandatory in theory or practice, is the fastest way of revealing the truth. Above all, throughout history, the worst moves were made from people who held the truth from a significant player. From the scandal at Watergate to the war at Vietnam, People seek the truth without limits. Honesty brings it forth, and withholding it only brings a delayed sense of gratitude, if any at all. I cannot tell the number of times my brother would come home, be asked if he had any homework, say no and either panic at 10pm that night or at 6am that morning because he actually had it. Had he said yes about 7 hours ago, he would have spared himself the trouble in the first place many times over.

  24. Rachel Beecher says:

    On the first day of second grade, I met my best friend Brittany. We sat next to each other in class because my last name starts with “Bee” and her last name starts with “Bea.” As we grew up, obviously more things than just Magic Treehouse books and Sailor Moon were our priorities; boys eventually came into the picture…eventually meaning about two months into the second grade, when Brittany started dating the new kid from South Africa. Mostly because he had, like, such a cool accent. But, as our knowledge of love was so small, they did not last too long.
    As we grew, so did our love for boys. After all, I was so into John Riddle, the best wrestler on the fourth grade wrestling team. She liked Sam, the guy who played Lewis in our fifth grade production of “Lewis and Clark.”
    Middle school hit, and we were obviously so much more mature. I liked the future Homecoming King who had a different middle school relationship every day. Then 7th grader Brandon. Then the guy in the play with me, Nick. Then Josh again. And Brittany told me she liked the really short, skinny blonde boy, Tyler.
    Tyler was…a little weird. He was a swimmer, which I GUESS was cool. But he was really short. Like, he looked like a fifth grader. And we were so 6th grade now. He was really skinny. And I mean, I guess he was nice. But the issue was he picked his nose. Like a lot. Like the teachers would ask him if he needed a tissue several times during class. It was gross. Let’s just say Tyler and I weren’t the greatest of friends at this time.
    But Brittany was a good enough person to be blind to this flaw, and like Tyler regardless of his disgusting habit. Brittany had told me that she liked someone, but never told me that she liked Tyler. But, a couple weeks later at the lunch table Brittany let slip that she liked someone to everyone else. So everyone at the table started guessing names of who she liked.
    “Bobby Nescio!”
    “No, his hair is too long,” Brittany said, giggling.
    “Matt Kretzing!”
    “No! He watches way too much Pokemon,” she said.
    “What about Jordan Luther?”
    “Ew no!” she laughed.
    This kept going until Megan Boley finally asked after pausing: “…What about Tyler Lemmons?”
    So Brittany wouldn’t be embarrassed about people guessing or having to lie, I jumped ahead and cut her off, and not thinking how rude it sounded, I shouted over her, “Ew, no! He picks his nose!” and tacked on the kind edition, “And he eats it!”
    Instantly, everyone at the table got completely silent. Little did I know that the reason Megan had chosen to ask about Tyler was because he was standing directly behind me. I had no idea he was there, even for about five seconds after I shouted that terribly rude statement. Though the rest of the guessing had been just fine while slowly poking fun at the boys, it was all commonplace recognitions. The comment about Tyler was completely out of line. I was just trying to goof off with my friends, and I ended up not only offending Tyler but offending Brittany as well. I should have just kept my mouth shut and my opinions on Tyler locked away in my head.
    Though Brittany was a little embarrassed by my comment, she got over it quickly and there was no rift in our relationship. Tyler, on the other hand, probably resented me all through middle school and half of high school. We didn’t really talk again until I started dating his friend my sophomore year and he HAD to spend time with me, and even then he wasn’t the nicest. I can’t believe that one off hand comment could affect someone that much. Maybe honesty isn’t the best policy when someone gets hurt in the process.

  25. David Loeb says:

    I think “always be honest” is great advice. As others have pointed out, though, this gets tricky to do in a situation where being honest may hurt somebody’s feelings. However, I think that in these situations, it is still best to be honest. An experience I had last year illustrates this well.

    I was hanging out at a friend’s house. He had recently started DJing. Knowing that I love a good DJ mix, he showed me what he considered to be his best one. “Everyone I’ve showed this to so far has liked it,” he told me. I listened, and, to be blunt, it was awful. The track selection was random and incohesive, and the mixing was sloppy.

    I could have taken the “white lie” route like everyone else and told him I liked it, sparing his feelings. Usually I would have. However, this time, for some reason, I decided to be honest. “This is pretty bad, man,” I told him, and explained why I didn’t like it. He replied with a, “F*** you, dude.” Though he was half-joking, I could tell he was angry and hurt. Things got awkward, and I left shortly after. We didn’t talk for a few days.

    However, when we finally hung out again, he thanked me for being honest about his mix. “Everything you said was true, man,” he admitted. “There were so many aspects of a mix that I had never considered.” He played me a new mix he made, and it was already ten times better. He now plays at clubs regularly. Had nobody ever been honest with him, though, he’d still be in his bedroom cranking out garbage.

  26. Miguel Martinez says:

    Honesty is extremely important in order to maintain any relationship. There are situations where being honest is vital. If you lie, the lie might progressively worsen. One lie may lead to another and before you know it, the lie has gotten out of control. The person that you told this lie to, will eventually find out and be angry. But sometimes honesty isn’t the best way to go. Sometimes the truth hurts and being honest with someone can actually cause suffering. Some people are insecure about themselves and if flaws begin to get pointed out, the person might resent you for it. Honesty is also tied in with trust. If one is always honest with friends or family the person who is always honest will be trusted no matter what the issue is. When I was little I would always tell the truth, my brother on the other hand would not. Whenever we both would get caught doing something, and I lied about it, my mom was most likely to believe me as supposed to my brother. In the end honesty is the best approach to go about life.

  27. Spencer Reid says:

    When I see the word honesty I think of my father. Who is the most honest person I know. That is probably the reason I get so mad when people lie to me. As a child and even now I know I could ask my father anything and he would answer it honestly. So honesty has been one of the most important values in my life. It is also one of the hardest things to do especially when you do not want someone to know the truth. The time I most vividly remember struggling to be honest was when I was 6 years old and I stole a hot wheels car from a store. My mother told me I could not get it but instead I took it anyways not knowing what I had really done. My mother found out I stole it when we were on the car ride home and I was playing with the toy car. I had to tell her the truth and I also had to apologize to the store manager for my behavior. I found this very difficult to do at the time and I started crying because my mother let me know I had done something wrong and I felt bad about it. As I get older I find it easier to be honest to people and with myself. The hardest person to be honest with is yourself though because if you are not honest with yourself then you cannot be honest to anyone else. I think it has become easier for me to be honest, as I get older because if you always try to be honest it becomes like a reaction and you do not think about lying. It also works the same for lying. If you always lie then you just naturally will lie without ever thinking about being honest about anything.

  28. I think this is awesome advice though it may be a bit cliché it’s still oh so true. It always seems to bite you in the ass one way or another when you lie about something. Generally it is the one person you don’t want to find out, finds out. When I was no older than 7 when I found out the hard way, lying can get you into deep shit. I remember it so vividly that the hair on the back of my neck still stands up as I sit here and write about it now. I was in the back of my mom’s car on a smoldering hot day. The car was my prison. We were sitting in the Safeway parking lot when I was sneakily eating the candy that I stole from the grocer. I took just one tiny hand full of sweet delectable sour gummy worms. Now as I look back on it, it was pretty obvious where I got the candy from but using little kid logic I could have gotten them from anywhere. My mother turned around and saw that I was eating and asked me what I was eating. I said I wasn’t eating anything and quickly swallowed the last gummy. I obviously lied knowing full well that I wasn’t supposed to take the candy and said that a nice lady gave it to me. She then gave me The Look. Every parent has The Look. The Look is the one that makes every kid cringe. It’s as if they have a lie detector test in their back pocket and use it whenever they need to. I then told the truth and I had to go back into the store and tell the manager that I took some gummy worms and paid him for them. I was so embarrassed I could hardly speak. I squawked “I’m sorry”. I then had to listen to my mom yell at me for lying to her. I then from that day forward tried to speak the truth… Key word tried.

  29. Liesl Blum says:

    This topic is definitely a hard one. It’s often heard, “a little white lie wont hurt anything”. And most of the time this is true, but sometimes a little white lie just keeps growing until it’s a huge mess of a lie. Last year on my friends 18th birthday, I took her to see one of her favorite bands. It was a lot of fun, but we got out of the concert around 11 and we wanted to go do something else. But 11:00 on a Saturday night, in the middle of January, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, there is not a whole lot to do. We were just driving around, joking about different things that we could do and one of us said lets go to the beach. So we went. We didn’t know how to get there, but we had my GPS so we just drove towards the coast until we found a beach. We got there around 4, napped in my car, and woke up to watch the sunrise on the snow-covered beach and then drove home. The only thing was, is that there was no way my mom was going to let me pull an all-nighter to drive to the beach for no reason, and neither would my friends mom. So we told her the classic lie “mom, I’m sleeping at Carly’s” and she told her mom she was sleeping at my house. With us being able to drive, our parents really don’t talk that much so we figured we could get away with it without a problem. However, we didn’t think about the sand in my car, or the fact that we had a tollbooth receipt from New Jersey in my car. The next day, my mom saw the receipt and the sand, and questioned me about it. She caught me in the lie, and knew that I lied to her about where I was going. My parents have always trusted me and given me freedom to make my own decisions, but after this my mom could not trust me the way she had before. Although this lie really wasn’t all that bad, it harmed the trust my parents have with me. If I had just been honest with my mom about what I was doing, chances are we could’ve come up with something that would have let me have fun, and I could’ve kept her trust.

  30. Bisa Lindsey says:

    The best piece of advice I had ever been given about honesty was “of all the things that you need honest with, you need to be honest with yourself. Lying to yourself only makes it easier to lie to others” This is something I have to believe is undeniably true. Being honest with yourself is everything. There have been many times in my life that I have felt a certain way about something but because I did want to be upset or sad I choose to lie to myself and say that I wasn’t. When people upset me and I didn’t want to create a fuss, I would lie to myself and act as if I was okay when I really wasn’t. This wasn’t fair to me or to anyone else, lying to myself to pretend that I was happy when I was doesn’t do anyone any favors if I was so unhappy and more likely to stop talking to be then deal with my feelings. I was also lying to people by saying I was “fine” when I wasn’t. Honesty is the most important aspect of every relationship, the relationship with other and your relationship with yourself. Once you can be honest with yourself you can really be honest with others.

  31. Conor McGuckin says:

    Without honesty in most cases our families, relationships, and communities would all fall apart. The bonds of trust keeping us united would crumble, leaving only ruins of the towns built upon our confidence in others. That being said, the meaning of the phrase, “Always be honest.” varies according to how harsh you define always. Honesty is essential in most circumstances, but there are certain situations and cases where lies might be told to protect yourself or loved ones. We have all had first hand experiences in these certain situations. As for me, I was in an isolated practice room playing piano by myself, when a friend of mine approached me. We conversed for a few minutes, then out of nowhere he told me he was gay. I didn’t know how to take this, I had no idea he was. It was weird at first, but we remained good friends. For the next couple weeks it stayed between a few of us, then a few other kids started asking me about it. To preserve our friendship, honesty had to perish.

  32. Al Germann says:

    Honesty is a funny thing. Many people say it’s the best policy, that you should always be honest. Others stress the importance of “white lies”, little fibs to protect those around you. Personally i’v lied to many people for a wide variety of reasons, however there is a difference between little white lies and lies that can ruin friendships.
    A few years ago I saw a group of my friends get torn apart by lies. It all started pretty small, a few isolated incidents, but then it gradually got bigger and ended up costing some people their friendships. Let’s call this one person Frank, and another Sally. One day Frank acted like a ass and lied to Sally about something kinda important. Frank told Sally he didn’t sleep with Jane, but he did. Now Frank is kind of an idiot and didn’t cover his tracks very well and so Sally found out that he lied. Sally Kane and Frank are all friends, or they used to. Sally also had a crush on Frank, which is why he lied to her, but it didn’t get him anywhere good. His lie broke up a big chunk of my friends that year, and I don’t think they’ll ever be making up soon. Basically, little white lies are ok, but the big ones always come back to haunt you.

  33. Lilly Kuriakose says:

    “Honesty is the best policy” that’s what I’ve always heard. But I never really understood this till I actually experienced it. We should always be honest to the ones we love because we wouldn’t want them to lie to us either. Lying only causes more problems. I realized this a few years ago when I lied to my parents. Everyone lies to their parents once in a while and most of the time it’s so you can go out with your friends somewhere they wouldn’t want you to go. This one time I just wanted to go with a couple of my friends to this show. But I thought if I told my parents they wouldn’t let me go, not because it’s dangerous or anything but they just wouldn’t want me to go. So I told them I was going to the mall with my friend but instead I went to the show. After I came back I couldn’t stop worrying. I kept thinking what if they find out somehow? I starting to get so scared and regretful, so I decided I’m just going to tell them. So the next day I told them where I actually went and they didn’t seem to be mad. They asked me why I didn’t just tell them this in the first place. I was so relieved to hear that and ever since then I am always honest to my parents (mostly important things). I guess being honest is the best policy.

  34. Krupa Khatri says:

    From our kindergarten lessons to our favorite childhood movies, we have been told in many ways that honesty prevails. When I was younger, however, these instructions made little impact on me, and I would lie regardless. The importance of honesty was something I had to learn myself. 

    Whenever I returned home from middle school, my dad would ask how my day went.  No matter what happened that day, I would say it was good and refused to elaborate.  One day I was worried about an upcoming math test.  When my dad asked how school was, I said it was good, but my hostility towards him said otherwise. My dad bothered me until I told him about my math test and how I had no idea what I was doing. Apparently, my dad enjoyed math when he was young and decided to help a lost cause. Though he was no teacher, his determination to help motivated me to study and to do well.

    That seemingly insignificant lie showed me the importance of honesty. If my dad believed my lie, then I would have remained stressed out and unable to concentrate on math. If I was unable to concentrate, then I would not have done well on my math test, which I would have to explain to my parents. All of that was avoided because I told my dad the truth (and I was a terrible liar). In short, lying is messy. To avoid the mess, we should try to telling the truth.

  35. Emily Croke says:

    I would say that being honest 100% of the time may not be the way policy. White lies are used to protect people which is one main reason being honest all the time may not be good. One girl in my class just got the brand new iPhone 4 gs for her birthday from her parents. She ended up cracking the screen but rather than telling her parents, she dished out the $150 to get a new phone to replace her shattered one. She never told her parents in order to protect their feelings and to make sure they would not be disappointed in her. This is why honesty is not always the best policy.

  36. Amanda Plaksin says:

    My dad always told me that “white lies” never hurt anybody, but my mom was a believer in telling the truth one hundred percent of the time. When I was living with him, I could get away with smudging storylines every once in a while; when I was with my mom, she seemed to have a sort of Jedi-knowledge about her that sensed when I was telling even the tiniest of lies.
    Going through life, I’ve learned the difference between being bluntly honest and hurting someone’s feelings and using a small lie to make things easier for everyone involved. Depending on the situation, honesty could be the best policy; however, we’ve all heard of the, “Honey, does this dress make me look fat?” and answering that question honestly could very well lead to a few uncomfortable nights on the couch. And nobody wants that.

  37. Tracey Young says:

    What we have always been taught by our parents, in school, and from the multitude of media around us is that honesty is always the best policy. Although I understand the importance of being honest in serious situations and its impact on ourselves and our relationships, I believe that lies are shades of grey and that one should always consider the situation first.

    When I was about 3 or 4 years old, I was sick with aplastic anemia and had undergo surgery. I remember because confused and frightened of the doctors in their scrubs and masks, and the bright white surgery room filled with strange, beeping machines. I hyperventilated. The anesthesia couldn’t put me to sleep until they let my mom in to calm me down.

    When I woke up, I was in a dark beeping hospital room with a machine attached to my arm. I spent the next four months living in the hospital; my mom would spend the days with me, and my dad would sleep in the hospital with me every night. When I was finally allowed to leave, I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to see my little brother and my cousins and my grandmother again.

    It wasn’t until years later that I understood that I had been dying, and my surgery and stay in the hospital weren’t really to help “cure” my disorder, but to monitor how long I had left to live. I think I prefer that my parents hadn’t told me that I was dying, despite my traumatizing surgery experience due to my lack of understanding. If I had known I was dying, I might not have lived through simple determination to get out of the hospital and go see my family again.

    Although I do not remember my parents ever outright lying about my situation, a lie of omission is still a lie. In my case, the decision to lie in such a way to me is understandable, and I believe it allowed me to miraculously defy the life expectancy the doctors gave me.

  38. Emily Moyer says:

    Honesty is something that can be rather tricky because it is situational. You can tell someone what you really think but you have to be prepared for whatever consequences come out of that. In junior year of high school I met a guy named Phil. He was tall, scruffy and had blue eyes. He was pretty quirky and random. He was someone different. He started sitting at my lunch table with me and another girl, Steph, who was rather ditzy and loved to talk about how perfect she was. After a while I decided to tell Phil that I liked him, taking a risk, hoping that he would feel the same way considering his behavior toward me. He just looked at me and simply said “Yeah I figured, but I like Steph. Sorry.” After that conversation our whole friendship changed. We didn’t talk as much and we rarely ever hung out together. My honesty had changed the dynamic of the relationship in ways that I wished it hadn’t. I wanted at that time to take back what I said and just pretend as if I never liked him. Keeping up the lie. A lie such as that wouldn’t have hurt anyone but myself but it seemed that either way I still got hurt only with telling the truth it stung a little more. I agree that honesty is important but before being honest you have to closely weigh the options in your mind. I’m not saying that lying is good but to help preserve the feelings of others it may be a better option until you reach a point where you can deal with the reality.

  39. MIke F says:

    To me the idea of always being honest all the time is idealistic. In our society people are expected to lie some times, in an attempt to avoid unnecessary conflict. However, even though it is expected, people should not lie all the time, or even most of the time. Once someone starts to lie too much they become unreliable and untrustworthy. In my life I know a few people who have crossed this threshold and become predictably undependable. One of them I have known since high school and when ever we try and see each other “something would come up” that would result in her not responding to her txt messages/phone. When confronted about this her response would be that she never received the massage, and that it was her phones fault. It has come to a point now that whenever we speak I can almost guarantee that what ever she says one if not all of it will be a complete lie.

  40. Kelley Hey says:

    Honesty is very important to me. I am a very honest person; it is actually hard for me to lie because if I do tell a lie, I feel really guilty about it. Honesty is important in all relationships, but there is a line to draw on how bluntly honest a person should be. There are moments in life when a white lie may be better than being completely honest because you don’t want a person’s feelings to be hurt. I remember just a few weeks ago a friend was wearing a new shirt that they absolutely loved, but I didn’t really like. They asked me if I liked it and I told them I liked it just because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. They were so happy with the shirt; it would have brought them down and maybe even ruined their day if I said I didn’t like it. I know I said it is hard for me to lie, but I think when it comes to a person’s feelings it is okay to tell a little white lie now and then.

  41. LINDSEY COHEN says:

    The best advice I have ever gotten would probably have to be from my mother. During my sophomore year of high school, I was having such a difficult time with school, trying to finish all of my work on time while balancing my social life. One afternoon, I was walking with my mom and had a breakdown. I realized that so many factors of my life had been piling up and I did not have a proper way to cope with stress. Now, being a freshman college student, the best advice I got from my mom is to always remember to breathe and that everything will be okay. This lesson from my mother helped guide me through sophomore year, college, and beyond. I hope everyone can take a piece of this advice! Have a great weekend.

  42. Siya Brown says:

    “be content with the present of presence because once it’s unwrapped, it’s a rap!”

    Don’t take your life or other people’s lives for granted because you never really know when today is your last. Often I find myself consumed with tomorrow. I’m always worrying about silly things that won’t happen until years later when I should be spending time thinking about what I can do right now while I’m still alive and healthy. I had a friend who I used to be really close with and we kind of grew apart because I moved to a different school. Some time went and we hadn’t really spoken outside of a facebook message. Then in my senior year I was practicing for my school play and I had went out in the hall to get a drink of water and there he was. We had a nice conversation and he gave me his new number and made me promise to call him so we could set up a time to go hang out. I had every intention of calling but I guess the clutter of ‘tomorrow’ filled my mind and I forgot all about him. I never called and a month later I got a phone call from his best friend. He got shot trying to stop a fight from happening and he died from blood lost. Somehow I feel like a simple phone call could have changed it all. Maybe that day would have been the day that we decided to catch a movie or go to the mall. And maybe he would still be here. I guess I’ll never know but I think everyone should remember *Life is a gift, so treat it like one!

  43. Charlotte Bader says:

    As a young girl, my mom and dad always encouraged me to be honest. I usually was honest but towards my teen years I started to become a little more ‘sneaky’ as my mom called it. In high school, with the fear of my parents saying ‘no’ I would tell them that I was sleeping at a friends house when in reality I would be going to a party. Many times this little fib worked; however, one time I was caught. I had told my mom I was sleeping at my friend Maddie’s house and I was really going to a party that was near Maddie’s house. Coincidentally, my car broke down right outside of Maddie’s house. I called my mom because I didn’t know what else to do. She came to Maddie’s house and she found out that I was not sleeping there. She was mad at me for lying to her and I was grounded. If I told my mom I was going to the party she probably would have let me go. I shouldn’t have lied.

  44. Edric Garcia says:

    Be honest. A very over used form of advice that is often transferred from parent to kid. I do not find this advice to be good, in fact I think its terrible. Being honest has never really gotten me anywhere. My father would say, “If you tell me the truth, I won’t be mad.” In a quiet voice, almost a whisper. I would then hesitate and respond in a shattered voice, “I…. I broke your favorite mug.” My cries would be heard all night, along with the whizzing zip of my dad’s broad leather belt. Soon, I learned to lie. I found that when I lied, the belt would never zip, my cries would only be cries of joy. It was the turning point of my life. I enjoyed taking the last chocolate doughnut and pinning the blame on my sister, or making up a story about why I did not do my homework. I was living my life on the edge at the age of five. I am now reaping the benefits of a life of deceit. I give all the credit to lying, and that… is the truth.

  45. Ray Seibert says:

    In my experience, I have found that honesty is always the best policy, especially with regards to schoolwork. One time, in my freshman year, my Spanish teacher assigned us a project, and threatened that if it was late, we would lose half credit. Now as it happens, I forgot about this project and did not hand it in on the day of the assignment. But as she did not collect it personally, I figured I had a shot at full credit. The next day, I passed by her room multiple times, waiting for a time when she wasn’t there so I could slip it on to her desk. But that time never came, so I held on to the project and devised another lie. Inevitably she came to me in class and asked me about it. I tried to lie, convincing her she had lost the project, but she brushed me off, knowing that she didn’t lose it. I reluctantly handed in that project a week late, accepting that I would probably get a 0. She was merciful however, and made it clear that I didn’t deserve the 40% she gave me. If I hadn’t lied, and handed in the project one day late and explained my situation, I could probably have gotten full credit. So now I am always honest, or at least I try to be.

  46. Larry Iaccio says:

    “Always be honest.” Sadly this is advice that most people I know and even myself do not follow. Lying has become such a commonplace within our world that it is considered a virtue when you tell the truth, and it shouldnt be that way. People should tell the truth no matter the situation and should not be rewarded for it, but rather have it be expected. There have been a few times through my relationship with my girlfriend that I have not been completely honest with her. I have never told her an outright lie, but there have been times when I wouldn’t tell her some things because I felt like I would be helping our relationship or hurting her less. Women find out everything, so low and behold she found our one way or another about some of the things I was keeping from her and it crushed her. It crushed her because I didn’t respect her enough to just come out and tell her, i betrayed her trust, and that’s not what a relationship is about. Always be honest. If you’re thinking about hiding something from someone then that’s probably your conscience telling you that you should just say it in the first place.

  47. Meghan Hall says:

    I believe that honesty truly is the best policy. Of course there are certain situations when telling little white lies is acceptable, like when your mom asks if you stayed in and studied the whole weekend and you say ‘of course’…haha. However, I’ve learned that by being honest with people, people respect you more. My friends and family always know that I will tell them like it is and they know they can tell me anything and I will be completely upfront and honest with them. Sometimes being honest may seem like the diffult thing do, but if you’re not honest with people you will just end up getting yourself into an even bigger mess.

  48. David Sadlowski says:

    i believe that being honest is the key to life. You can’t have people telling you that you’re good at something when you’re really not. The people who are being lied to can make themselves look stupid in the future. If you’re not honest, then how real of person can you be. If someone walks around lying about things, it is hard for others to know the entire truth about that person.

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