I could never lie as a kid. At least not successfully. I was so bad at it, all you had to do was take one look at my face and you’d know. Every time I tried to cover something up, all I managed to do was get deeper in trouble.
So I gave it up. I decided right then that I would tell only the truth, no matter what.
It was the best kid decision I ever made.
I never had to remember what I told to whom, I never had to keep secrets, I never had to worry about getting caught in a lie. I even felt better telling the truth.
It’s just easier to be honest.
And it has worked for me, at least most of the time. Of course that meant I had to admit when I screwed up, take the blame for some of the things I did, and I’m sure I hurt some people’s feelings by being too honest at times.
As I grew up I stuck to the plan. In fact, my girlfriend-who-later-became-my-wife told me I had a reputation in college for “blunt and bruising honesty.” Even today, I’m still not sure she meant that as a compliment, but I chose to see it that way anyway. Now, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to relax that rule a bit, mainly because I care about the feelings of others and I have found there is some value in those “little white lies.” But for the important stuff, I still try to be as honest as possible.
That’s because honesty is all about transparency and trust, which I believe are the cornerstones for everything. You can’t have friends, a family, or a business (or a credit union) without them.
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