Tonight is our monthly blogapalooza and the challenge topic is:
“Write about something you believed as a child or in your youth that turned out not to be true.”
I believed a number of typical childhood myths from Santa Claus on down, nothing unusual or heartbreaking to be disproven. Those stories were easy, it was hard for me to learn that people lie. I believed that on the rare occasions when they would lie, it would be a white lie to spare someone's feelings.
I am way too old to finally have this belief stomped out of my consciousness and it has been a long painful road to get here. What I have discovered is that people lie. They do it all the time and sometimes for no good reason.
Growing up I was taught to tell the truth and punished if I was caught in a lie. As my parents seemed to immediately know when I was fibbing, I just gave it up. I figured most people grew out of it also.
In High School I became aware of the fact that lots of people lied to their parents. I never felt the need to lie to mine, I would just tell my Mom the truth and she would understand. If anything, I was a little too ready to accept that things were my fault and would confess to transgressions that were not a big deal.
In college I joined a sorority and I saw a whole new world. In fact, had I paid more attention then I would have really learned a lot about the ways of the world. My boyfriend at the time, who became my first husband, lied to me.
I also learned that people lie because they say they are protecting you. But the truth is always better, it protects all of us. I had a lot to learn.
When I was teaching at my first school it was broken into over winter break. I went to an older teacher and blurted out that I thought it was my fault, I had maybe left a window open a crack which could have been pushed in. He announced to the teacher's lounge, "We don't know who broke into the school but we know that it's Kathy's fault."
That really taught me that I wasn't to blame for everything so cut out copping to every wrong. At this point, I still believed that most people were telling me the truth, well except for commercials. I also added politicians to that group of maybe not always truthful.
When I taught at Rich East High School the principal and a football coach both told me something that I thought was a wrong I needed to right. I was telling my lunch table and they all laughed. Everyone could see that these men were liars.
I was aghast right up until the time that my principal went to jail for embezzling. The congressman I had had a coffee for in my home, Mel Reynolds, also went to jail and has been in and out since. Oh, and that former boyfriend turned husband? Told the most lies of all.
Enter my third and final school where a primary school teacher started a sentence with, "But the principal SAID." I was sad that I was one of the teachers trying to explain to her the ways of the world. I missed my innocence.
I trust people now but I sure as heck verify. I've become somewhat of a militant truth teller now in spite of how other people live their lives. Once I got divorced I just wanted no more lies in my life.
This is why I like being a quilter. I find quilters are truth tellers. No one says "Oh, I only used a half yard" when in reality they used a yard.
Not only have I learned that people lie but that the truth is glorious. It feels good to give and get. I don't care what other people do, I am going to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.
Lies must pay off for some but they seem not to for me, my family or quilters. My husband and I are adamant about telling the truth and so are my daughters. Start with a circle of truth tellers and expand slowly so that lies have no place in your life.
Trust but verify.
Here's a song about not lying. Good advice
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Here is a link to my last blogapalooza post.