August 21, 2008.
"What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things."
I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
This pledge to tell the truth is an oath people take before a legal proceeding coomences. Ironically, as soon as the pesky oath is out of the way, many proceed to tell anything but the truth. When it comes to the legal system, people bending, contorting and twisting the truth in every way imaginable is as commonplace as fleas on a dog. But courtrooms haven't cornered the market when it comes to skirting the truth. Not even close.
Lies, falsehoods, prevarications - whatever you choose to call them - have almost become a way of life these days.
It used to be that a man's word was his bond. And thankfully that's still the case with a number of people. But make no mistake about it; the truth is in increasingly short supply nowadays. In a world shadowed in various shades of gray, there are very few remaining who see things in black and white terms anymore.
In many instances the truth has been replaced by deceit, deception and dishonesty; especially in those instances where people deem it expedient. And we are far worse off as a result.
A half truth is a whole lie.
Let's face it, very few people really like that word LIE very much. And to be called a liar; well, ouch - that really hurts. In today's live and let live society, these terms seem so harsh, demeaning and mean spirited. Suggesting that somebody is being untruthful or outright lying seemingly crosses the line. Since many believe that most of us tell a fib now and then, they just don't see lying as much of a big deal. Well, let's set the record straight. It is a big deal. A really BIG deal as a matter of fact. And here's why.
If your word cannot be trusted at all times, then when can it be trusted? Simply put, never.
If you're not always honest and trustworthy, how does anyone really know when you're telling the truth and when you're lying? They don't - and that's not good.
If you're prone to mixing in a lie here and a fib there, what does that say about your character? Nothing very positive, that's for sure.
Getting the picture?
"Truth is such a rare thing; it is delightful to tell it."
So what happened to the truth? Where did it go? Although sometimes difficult to find, truth and honesty are still here, they're still alive and kicking. In fact, these core values form the cornerstone of what a lot of good people are all about. While many no longer appreciate these bedrock principles, opting to lie and cheat their way through life, people of integrity live these ideals daily.
When these people tell you that they're going to do something, you can bet your bottom dollar that it's going to get done. When they shake your hand and look you in the eye, you can take what they say to the bank. Their word is not just good; it's solid gold.
"No legacy is so rich as honesty."
Do you know what do you stand for and even more importantly, what you won't stand for? Do you stand firm in your moments of truth? Can people count on you to tell the truth, regardless of the consequences or how you may look in the short run? Is your word truly your bond?
It doesn't matter whether you're telling a little white lie or uncorking a big time whopper, you're still lying. And you're still wrong. As the old saying goes, 'If your word is no good, you eventually become no good as well.'So why run the risk of ruining your reputation by piling one lie on top of another? Why not choose the high road and follow the path of truth?
If you truly value your good name - and you certainly should - you've got to make the truth, the whole truth and nothing not just your motto but also your way of life.
And that's the truth.
The Bottom Line: Make sure your word is as good as gold.
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