01 Dec The Power of Honesty
There are tons of sayings that you’ve probably heard over the course of your lifetime. Some of them you listen and take to heart, and others you just tend to ignore. Some of my favorites have to do with truth and honesty. I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying, “honesty is the best policy.” You’re also probably familiar with, “the truth shall set you free!” I know these two phrases were definitely some of those things that I heard a lot when I was growing up. I used to hate them though when I was younger because I lied quite a bit. It was never anything big, but on occasion I would tell a fib whenever it suited my needs. If I could get away with it then I would do it. And sometimes I told a lie so much that I started to actually believe the lie that I had been telling. But the thing is, even though I was able to get away with it, it was still taxing. Having to keep a story straight takes a lot of work. If you mess up a detail one time then it could end up throwing your whole story off, just like it did in the storyline of a play I saw recently…
Now, I know I’ve told you guys about my love of musicals, so bear with me here while I talk about this one. I won’t go into too much detail about it, just in case you want to see it, but I will give you enough information so that you can get the gist of the lesson from the play.
Dear Evan Hansen is about this kid in high school who tells a lie. He tells himself that he’s doing it to help out some people who could use some cheering up. And to be fair there was probably a small part of him that was telling the lie because he genuinely wanted to do some good for someone else, but most of the reason had to do with him wanting to be liked, and I can’t fault him for that. High school is tough, especially when you’re a loner, so it made sense that he wanted people to like him.
When he first tells the lie, there’s just a handful of people who know the story that he’s made up, but by the end of the first act everyone in his school and hundreds of thousands of people across the country have also heard this story (thanks to the power of the internet) that he’s fabricated as well.
When we come back from the first act we find out that his lie does end up doing some good. By keeping the fib going he’s able to raise awareness about a serious issue, but halfway through the second act the fib ends up being too much for him to bear. People start finding holes in his story and it becomes harder and harder for him to keep lying. Eventually he ends up telling the truth to the people he was trying to help in the beginning, and by the end of the play you can definitely see why telling the truth is so important. He was only hurting the people that he tried to help by keeping this secret from them. When he lied to them he allowed them to live in some fantasy world, and while it was nice for a while, knowing the truth was able to provide them with the healing that they longed for. The protagonist was even able to feel better after the initial fallout that occurred after they found out that he had been lying to them for months. So in this case (as it is in most cases). Honesty was the best policy, and the truth really did set him free.
When you tell the truth it’s freeing. You feel better because you don’t have to worry about keeping the story straight and the other people around you will appreciate your honesty as well. When all of the information is out there on the table everybody benefits because they know what they’re going to get. You deserve that, and so does the other person.
Positive thinker, tell the truth. It may not seem like the smart thing to do in the moment, but in the long run you’ll be happy that you did!