When our children were very young and asking the millions of questions that young children ask, there were, of course, times when we just didn’t know the answer. So, once my husband overheard me saying that I didn’t know that answer. “Hey,” he said, “we can’t tell them we don’t know or they won’t respect our authority.” To which I replied that if we had to go through life pretending we knew everything, the kids were going to find us out pretty quickly. We both agreed that when we didn’t know, we could just say that we didn’t know, but that we would find out. And that set a tone in our family relationship for honesty, which is a value we hold very dear.
Now we seem to have candidates for national office who not only feel free to distort facts and truth in commercials and in their statements (“It’s only politics,” they say), but they are now stating that they anticipate that the President will not be truthful during the upcoming debates. Think of that. What an amazing accusation.
We just cannot agree with such attitudes and behavior. We think people should always, always, always be as honest as possible. There is no need to state unkind truths. One needs to use discretion. If a beloved daughter asks if you like her new hair style, you can say, “Well, I really liked it best the other way,” not “That looks terrible, dear.” See what I mean?
But the more important the issue, the more important it becomes to be as honest as possible, to admit candidly when we err or misspeak, and to deal with situations openly.
Because honesty makes its own authority.