A consequence that I had not expected as a result of that lie, though, was a hard-hitting realization of just how potent our words can be and how one statement can quite literally change the course of a life. I’ve always been a nerdy, wordy girl, but until the afternoon of my deliberate untruthfulness, I hadn’t fully understood the power that is unleashed when we open our mouths.
And of course, with power comes responsibility.
I’d always been a good kid. Everyone said that I’d been born old, and really, I didn’t disagree. I felt like an adult in a small body. Not only was I calm and decisive as a child, I was ridiculously responsible and reliable, too. Yet still, I told my share of fibs. Little ones, mostly. Yes, I brushed my teeth and no, I don’t know what happened to the vase—those sorts of things. Kid stuff.
And then I told the lie.
It was a good lie, if there is such a thing—one born of love. Had I felt then that there was another way to do what had to be done, I would have chosen it, but there simply wasn’t. I could not have sat beside my mother and told her that it was time for her to go. She wouldn’t have gone, and I knew that. Yet it was time and I didn’t want her suffering to continue because of me. So I lied. I didn’t then nor do I now regret it, but not long after, I came to another decision.
I resolved then that would never lie again. Ever. Not for any reason.
My strict truthfulness policy does not mean that I am purposefully cruel or that I am willing to share every piece of information that I am privy to. It certainly does not give me the right to stick my nose where it does not belong. It simply means that I will not speak or write something that I know is untrue. If asked, I will respond with one of two replies: I will tell you the truth or I will tell you that it is none of your business (but only if that is true).
I highly recommend that you do not ask me if those pants make your ass look big.
This post was written in response to today’s NaBloPoMo prompt: Do you always tell the truth?