“Being honest with oneself is the most difficult thing. It’s much easier to be honest with others”
My first major lie, that is. As children I am sure all of us would have lied about small things to our parents. But one lie that I told my parents when I was studying in second standard, made me remain (almost) honest for the next decade or so!
It was nothing big, actually. There was a drawing competition announced by the school and to participate, students had to give one rupee and register their names. I got the money from my parents but instead of registering my name in the drawing competition, I suddenly decided to go to the canteen during break and bought four chocolates to eat. Maybe I thought four was too much for me, so I gave two of them to my brother who was studying in the same school and lied to my mother that I registered my name by paying that one rupee.
On the day of the competition, I bought a sketch pen set, new pencil, chart paper, etc. Well, I had to hide my lie, right? I went to the school and obviously found that my name was not included in the list, but I still went and asked the teacher to check. She confirmed it and asked me to give my sketch pen set and everything else to someone who had registered but did not bring these things. I remember getting some of the sketch pens back in a blunt condition.
I went and told my mother that I drew a great drawing and coloured it with sketch pens. I am not sure how much she believed in my lie because on the day when I gave the chocolates to my brother, he promptly reported about it to my mother.
There used to be teachers-parents meetings and I guess there were four of them in a year. On the mornings of such meets, I used to become very scared thinking that my lie would be exposed if the topic of drawing competition came up during the individual discussions. So, I was filled with fear whenever a teachers-parents meet came up!
Fortunately or unfortunately the drawing competition was never discussed and my fear kept extending. During these days, my brother would always ask me about how I got the money to buy him chocolates, adding fuel to the fire. I would reply that I got it in the ground while playing.
During the end of that year, my parents decided to shift us to another school for the next year. Boy, wasn’t I relieved? No more teachers-parents meet in this school, and no more fear about my lie getting exposed!
After a few months, I evaluated this incident. Was all the fear worth it? Wasn’t one lie, leading to another and then another? Had my parents come to know about the lie, would they not think twice before giving me any money in future? I was even happy to change my school for a silly lie!
And all this for what? Four chocolates that I got in return!
I then decided that I will not lie once again, because it was not worth all the unnecessary hassles. I mostly followed it for the next decade or so, only to break it brutally during my college final year. And break it again a few times during the initial years of my employment.
There was one quote that I read during these times, which single handedly influenced me to speak the truth.
“Liars do not worry that no one believes them. But they worry that they are not able to believe anybody”
The truth in this quote, hit me hard. Really hard. Read it once again, and think about it to understand the enormity of the message conveyed by this wonderful quote.