I’ve been on this planet for a little over fifty-four years now. When I was growing up we only had three TV stations until the 80’s when Channel 21 came along. Life was so simple then. In so many ways it was a different world that we lived in compared to now. We communicated via actual conversations in person and on landline phones which had cords attached to a wall. I did not know a person who had a computer.
My parents taught me that one of the most important things in the world was honesty. Nothing would get us a spanking quicker than telling a lie. The honor code for my daddy went back to his Grandpa Charlie Lollis, who taught him that a man was only as good as his word. Daddy repeated that mantra to me often.
I remember when I was in high school and daddy almost caught my then-boyfriend and I having sex. Daddy came in unexpectedly for lunch from his store. My boyfriend and I were in my bedroom having at it. We heard the screen door open and close and rushed to the living room. Daddy asked what we had been doing and I flat out lied. I told Daddy that we were just hanging out.
I’m pretty sure Daddy knew the truth even though he never let on for one skinny minute. I knew I had passed the place where Daddy would whip me with a stick but also knew the emotional toll of disappointing him and decided at that moment, my comfort was more important than the thing he had grilled in me for life.
My guilt got the best of me and by nightfall, I sat down with Daddy and told him I had lied. As expected, he was severely disappointed that I had been dishonest but even more so that I had not heeded his advice to hold onto my virginity until I was married.
I don’t think I ever lied to Daddy again and I tried my best even when it was going to be uncomfortable, to tell the truth, no matter what — always keeping in my mind the words of my Great Grandpa Charlie that a man was only as good as his word.
I wonder how many of you grew up with that same value pressed upon you by your parents or grandparents or the person who raised you? I wonder if any of you paid the price for that. I sure did.
Years later when I was about to be fired from my job because I wouldn’t change grades, I stood firm knowing that my career was about to go down the toilet. It went against my principles and would have been dishonest to change grades from what they were to some fantasy option.
After I was fired I came to see that many of us have lost our sense of right and wrong. We turn our heads to the truth to protect ourselves and get the things we want. Sadly, I have seen that recur again and again and sometimes in deathly situations.
When my little brother Griffen was killed, I was in total shock at how quickly the people involved lied rather than just telling the truth of what had happened. We all said from the start that Griffen’s choice was the primary reason he wound up dead. But it wasn’t just his choice…others made choices too. And I saw that those people lost sight of caring for others if the truth might create discomfort for them.
When Tucker Hipps was found dead after a night of what was obviously hazing, not one single person came forward and shared what had happened. People lawyered up and lied. Adults (Parents) facilitated that.
As an adult, I have come to realize that it is not just dishonoring yourself to tell a lie. You are also dishonoring the person that you are lying to and the Divine entity that put you here.
What has happened to us? We accept lies for truth and we make excuses for the liars. I know it didn’t just start but it sure does seem that it has become the norm and that is so terribly troubling to me.
I think of all the little kids who are learning by example. Lie and win. Tell the truth and what? You see the reward for truth isn’t always really found in something external. The reward for truth and truth-telling often comes only from within. I am so grateful to be a gal that prefers internal rewards. I am at a place in life that I want my Maker to see that even when it might be easier, I hold to those values instilled by my Grandpa Charlie to my daddy and then to me. I hold to the values that are not of this world.
Forget politics. Forget everything. Take off your human cloak for a few seconds and sit with the space that is beyond all that. Ask yourself is truth and honesty important to you? Does it matter if people lie? Can you respect someone who is quicker to lie to save their own ass? Do you trust them to do what they say if they can’t even keep their word? Are we to a point that winning at all costs matters more than anything?
I don’t want to think so. I know we are at a crossroads in our country and our world. Winning at all costs is a sure way to lose it all in the long run. And the long run I am speaking of is not this world. I am talking about our Souls. There is a bigger picture here to think about. Our Maker deserves for us to honor Him by setting aside winning the world because the cost my friends is losing our Souls.
I will continue to honor myself and others by being truthful even when it is uncomfortable and I will pray that we find our way back to our internal compass and stop letting our heads silence our hearts and our Souls.
I invite you to join me.
I love you!