Does Anyone Tell the Truth Anymore?

The other day this lovely card came in the mail from former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. I felt quite honored, even though I knew the same card had probably been sent to hundreds of other people, with the same message.

Yes, of course, the card came with a request to donate to the Carter Center, and that was a request I couldn’t pass up. I don’t have much extra money for charitable giving, so I pick the charities carefully, trying my best to make sure the dollars are truly going to a worthy cause.

Money given to the Carter Center does.

Here in the States we are mourning the loss of President George H.W. Bush, who died last Friday. While he is remembered for accomplishing many good things during his years of service, as well as his devotion and loyalty to family, his reign as president was not without blemish. As Mehdi Hasan points out in this article in The Intercept, we often tend to focus only on the good, the positives, when someone of such high note dies, but we shouldn’t let a revisionist account of history stand.

One thing I do admire the Bush family for is their love for and loyalty to each other. Time and time again we have seen moments where Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. shared in that love as an example to other fathers and sons. And those moments are remembered in this from the Today Show. The bond and commitment that George H.W. shared with his wife, Barbara, and with their children, has always been very clear, and whatever else is said about him, he was a good family man. And I have the highest respect for a good family man.

Anymore it seems like everybody lies. Michael Cohen lied. Paul Manafort lied. Trump continues to lie. Kareem Hunt lied. He’s the running back from the Kansas City Chiefs who was recently let go after video of him assaulting a woman was released, revealing that lie.

Maybe it’s just because I’m old and a curmudgeon but I do remember a time when there was a lot more trust between individuals. Between us and our government. Between workers and their bosses. And in so many other arenas where it seems like honesty has gone the way of the dodo bird.

This makes me incredibly sad.

When I was growing up, one of the tenants that my father drummed into my head was the importance of being honest: The importance of telling the truth even when the truth was going to get you into heaps of trouble. For instance, there was the time I peeled an orange and threw the peelings all over the floor in the laundry room at his house.

My parents were divorced, and I visited my father often on weekends. At that stage of my life, I was also horribly afraid of getting into trouble, so I would try to weasel my way out of admitting to anything I did. Mainly because my mother beat me when I did something wrong, and I was forever concerned about getting caught and being on the receiving end of anybody’s wrath.

Which brings me to the day that I made the mess at my dad’s house.

When he asked me if I threw the orange peels on the floor in the laundry room, I immediately said no. I said that my brother, Michael, did. Daddy went off to confront Michael, but a little while later came back to me. “Did you tell me the truth about the orange peels?” he asked. “I am not upset about the mess on the floor, but I am upset about the possibility that you lied, and I’m very disappointed in you.”

That last part of my father’s statement reduced me to tears, and after a strained silence, I falteringly admitted that I had wrongfully blamed my brother.

My father didn’t spank me, or beat me. He just gave me a long, sad look, then told me I had to go tell my brother what I had done and tell him I was sorry. Then my father again said how disappointed he was in my behavior.

Maybe more people needed to learn something from my father.

That’s it for me for today folks. What do you have on your agenda for this week? Now that December is officially here, I’m getting in the Holiday mood and will be working on some presents I’m making. I might even decorate my new house for Christmas. First decorations to go up in four years. 

I’m getting there. 

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