Just be honest

Sunrise in the Coastal Redwoods

Sunrise in the Coastal Redwoods

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one” -George Washington

My husband and I have an established routine of working out at the Student Fitness and Recreation Center at the university on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays around eight in the morning followed by a brunch at home before we start our daily activities. For retired folks like us it gives us structure and helps to insure that we include this important aspect of staying healthy in our schedule. This Monday, Don was fighting the flu. Since I had to go into town later for a Women of the World luncheon, I elected to push back my workout by an hour and a half so that I could just make the short drive to the luncheon immediately following. As I was getting out of my car and walking through the fitness center parking lot, who should I run into but one of my co-coordinators from Women of the World. She had emailed me the prior week saying that she would not be able to attend the luncheon because she had to prepare for her daughter’s birthday party.

Needless to say, she was surprised to see me and said, “I thought you worked out earlier?” I explained about my husband being under the weather and not wanting to drive back and forth to the house in between I elected to start my workout later. She squirmed a bit when I asked how the party planning was going and what time it started. She mumbled something about getting the house clean and then confessed that the party wasn’t actually until Saturday. It quickly became apparent that she simply did not want to attend the luncheon and had used the party as an excuse. On the continuum of lies, this would probably be considered no more than a white lie, something told to protect feelings or avoid questions. While I can accept that those lies are generally told with a compassionate intent, I would prefer that you just be honest with me.

Even though well intended, these white lies, which were told ostensibly for the purpose of preventing hurt feelings, can end up causing more discomfort and misunderstandings. If a meal I prepare for you is not something you would enjoy having again, doesn’t it help both of us if I am not left with the impression that you really enjoyed it? Lying has sadly become accepted practice in our everyday dealing with one another. I am not saying you should be always be brutally honest, feelings be damned, but I would rather you soften the truth than try to deceive me with a lie.

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