I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts. ~Abraham Lincoln
Two Sunday nights ago, I finished reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It’s a period piece written during the early 1960’s dealing with segregation and civil rights in Jackson, Mississippi. Now I never saw the movie yet, but I can tell you the book spoke volumes. There are so many conflicts I can’t even begin to count, husband verses wife, maid verses bossy white lady, inner struggles, and struggles between right and wrong. With all this going on and the changing times, what bothered me the most were the lies. The main character had to lie to her family, boyfriend and best friends about all the time she spent on the typewriter. Not only that, people lie to themselves about situations when they turned a blind eye, or just sit back and did nothing in the face of injustice. I think that’s the worst, standing by while someone tells a lie and not even interjecting or rectifying the untruth. Lies can come in many forms and fashions such as exaggerations, ignorance, silence or skirting around the truth.
As I read, I couldn’t help but feel this overwhelming pride for Kyle. He has shown to be an ethical young man. Of course how can he not, since we don’t lie in our house. In fact, we are pretty brutally honest, probably to an extreme. Now, I am not naive enough to not realize that Kyle can be and will be, influenced by others, but through the eyes of my family, being caught in a lie would be the worst disappointment ever and Kyle wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of stress! Now I’m not saying I never told a lie, I’m no Abraham Lincoln. But I will say that I’ve never directly lied to my parents. I may have not mentioned everything and chose to leave out key details, but I will say with confidence if they ever thought to ask me, I would have told them the truth. Off the top of my head, I remember when I was in high school I wasn’t allowed to go to concerts. I really wanted to go and see The Cure with my friends, Tree and Maggie. Well, I fixed that. I had my parents drop me off at my friends house and their mother took us to the concert, which by-the-way rocked! All I told my parents was that I was spending the night at Tree’s. Case closed! No questions asked, no issue. What was funny and kind of stupid on my part, I walked around the next day in my new Cure concert T-shirt, but no questions were raised, probably because mom and dad don’t pay attention to things like that, and at the time my sister was in college. She would have busted me for sure and called it out to my parents in a heartbeat. Even though I was being slightly reckless, I always told my brother where I was going and what I was up to, just in case of an emergency. Making that pack, we would never tell on each other, we actually would brag about what each one got away with, that’s another story. Does this make the situation right? No! But you live and learn.
I would never want Kyle to act as I have, but if that’s the worst he could ever do, then I think he’ll be just fine. Admittingly, the worst lie that I have ever been involved in, was merely my presence of just standing by, letting someone tell a lie and not correcting them or making the real truth known. Unfortunately, this has happened to me more times than I truly care to admit. Either I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to stir up trouble, or the lie was a mix of truth and exaggeration, or I didn’t want the person committing the infraction to be called under the carpet. What’s worse, and I have been known to do this a time or two, is my re-iteration of an “exaggeration” initially told by someone else. I sometimes bring it up again to give that person a second chance to rectify themselves , it’s kind of my way of making fun, and calling out that I know, they are full of crap. Regardless, it’s not right, even if the other party doesn’t even realize the taunting. It’s actually very sad.
Although, Kyle kind of takes telling the truth to an extreme, meaning he will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat. Example, dad and Kyle went to the grocery store and came back with some goodies. You know, Nestle’s Drumsticks, apple pie and a mini cupcakes. I said, “We don’t need these! Dad why did you get pie?” Kyle flew around the corner to address my question before the sound of my voice reached the living-room where dad was sitting. He answered me as if he had rehearsed what he was going to say in anticipation of the question. He proceeds to speak very deliberately and directly to me saying, “I told pap we didn’t need these and he said we could have a little treat. Aunt Heather I didn’t pick them out, pappy put them in the cart” As I was digesting Kyle’s attempt to isolate dad’s shopping decisions, I began cracking up! As I walked into the living-room, I noticed the look on dad’s face and realized he heard the entire conversation. Dad just sat there chuckling over Kyle’s account of the situation. Laughing, dad said rhetorically, “Ya you didn’t want cookies either?” Then looked at me and said, “I guess I’m in trouble.” We found it extremely funny while Kyle was still very serious in his confession and was willing to stand by it. You go buddy! Fact is fact.
I’m glad Kyle has developed this innate desire to always keep the facts straight and the truth told. However, I do feel that much like me, he might stand by and let an “exaggeration” slip through, or worse a downright lie. If I know Kyle, this will eat at him, but he also doesn’t like conflict or issues, especially if it directly involves him. Sometimes Kyle does tend to exaggerate a bit when telling his accounts of a story. Or the opposite, when he runs and taddle-tails like he is the justice police. Now-a-days, mom picks Kyle up off of the bus on Friday’s, however I used to pick him up at daycare to bring him home. Once he told my mom, “Gigi, Aiya drives a race car. She goes back and forth.” all while making a side to side motion as if demonstrating my changing lanes. Now on my defense I have always been extremely careful driving when my little Narrow is in the car. He’s always been the precious package. Of course I should never Under Estimate What a Child Knows or what they perceive to be reality.
I guess I can only pray for Kyle to always do the right thing, and in the meantime I will continue to try and set a good example for him.