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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Truth and White Lies

1. Conformity to fact or actuality.
2. A statement proven to be or accepted as true.
3. Sincerity; integrity.
4. Fidelity to an original or standard

Truth vs. white lies; its a complex topic. What harm is there in a little white lie once in a while? This subject that came up recently with a discussion with a friend about having to tell white lies to her in-laws about her husbands whereabouts. It brought on a whole new thread of thought and discussion.

Why do people lie? Its because they are afraid of the response or consequence of the information. There are definitely moments with kids where it would be so easy to say a little white lie, but then one leads to another, which leads to another.

If you know that the people around you will accept you for who you, no matter what information you have to share, the world will be a safer feeling place.
A big part of truth is accepting the truth. I believe this is the more challenging component of truth; accepting it without judgement or harm. The truth isn't always what you want to hear. As quotes from characters in movies say, "You can't handle the truth".

If you always tell the truth then your words carry more integrity with others.

Over my time with Patrick, I have learned the importance of telling the 100% truth. When I first started dating Patrick, I believe I told more occasional white lies, but gradually over time I stopped. I appreciated that Patrick would tell me the truth and have learned how to handle the truth, as well as him with me. When it comes to feedback on clothing, politics, interpersonal topics, I have learned to fully accept his truth (as much as it sometimes hurts).

Tonight we discussed this with our houseguests, Mark and Amy at length. It seems that there is diplomacy vs. Truth. There are times when you can't speak fully outright in a public situation how you really feel, but this is diplomacy. An example would be if you are on a committee that has several split sides to it; you can't always come out and say how you feel about the other "side".

We agreed that in a family unit or husband/wife partnership there has to be full honesty so the unit can be strong as a "pack". We have to trust each other and trust that our responses to each other with information will be healthy. I want the kids to know that if they do something wrong, that they can tell me about it and it will be ok. For instance, if Stuey hit a ball through the neighbors window, I want him to trust that when he tells me I will handle the information with as much love and concern rather than outright anger.

I googled "When is it Ok to tell white lies to children" and there were MANY pages on the subject. Pages which covered all aspects of raising kids and the importance of truth telling.

It seems that we can teach kids to have good manners and be diplomatic and they won't ever have the need to tell white lies. Patrick and I were in strong agreement that white lies aren't good. In many ways Santa Claus and Easter bunny are white lies, but this is also in the arena of fantasy, which is an important part of kids development. To Patrick, lying about Santa Claus and Easter bunny gives him a moral dilemma.

The top picture was was taken in the first year of my relationship with Patrick. I was 24, he was 34. We broke up after he told me the hard truth that he didn't ever want to have kids. It killed me to hear this, as we really had a great relationship, but I knew I wanted kids. So we broke up for 2 months...and he ended up changing his mind on the matter with time. And I'm so glad he did!


The bottom photo was taken in Barcelona Spain in October of 2010.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow- This is a conversation that my husband and I have every holiday season. If it weren't for grandparents and outside the 'pack' family, we would have never began celebrating the holidays with our kids. The main reason being the lies that go along with it. The second, is that almost all the holidays are centered around religion, something that our pack does not practice, sugar and gifts.

As for dealing with the truth of Santa, we tell our girls that some people believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny just like some people believe in God. Leaving the choice to believe up to them.

I have a HUGE problem lying to my children and have remained very honest with them on matters of finances, love, relationships, honesty, and our own personal faults. If Joey and I have a spat in front of them (a rarity, but it does happen), then we all analyze it afterwards and discuses what was said and how important it is to say sorry.

We also have an honesty clause in our house. If you tell the truth and apologize you are off the hook and receive a shower of love.