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The Truth, The Whole Truth, and...?

by Lanny D

 

We’ve all been there before, right?  The cashier flashes a big, pageant-worthy smile and says “Hi, how are you today?”  Ah, the moment of truth (literally).  Here’s the dilemma most of us face.

Do we tell the cashier we spilled coffee on our favorite shirt while driving to work this morning, swerved, hit the curb, blew a tire, and deployed the driver’s side and passenger’s side airbags, or do we opt for the “little white lie” and reply, “Fine, and you?”  I remember the last time this happened to me.  That was the day I decided to exercise extreme honesty, bypass the “fib”, and open the 55 gallon drum of worms that was my day, subjecting the cashier to a 32-minute rant, I was going to be honest!

While one of the greatest desires I have at this point in my wonderful journey is to practice complete honesty, I ask myself, is there a time when complete honesty just isn’t appropriate?  As my broad mind and narrow waistline switch places, I’m beginning to realize it may be in one’s best interest, at times, to veer outside the lines when traveling the Super Truth Highway.  Is it okay to tell a “fib” when it’s done to spare someone’s feelings?  Is it okay to “bend the truth” as long as you don’t break it?  Con “Little white lies” be acceptable when preventing a potential disaster?  Or is it okay to “fabricate” in order to solve a foreseen issue?  In this age of hypersensitivity, litigation, and political correctness, one must tread lightly in the land of falsehoods.  Some claim, a slight “twist” of the truth does not constitute a lie any more than wearing a big red nose makes someone a clown.  Others claim, a lie is a lie, is a lie.

So, there I stood at the checkout counter, ready for the cashier to kick off the show so I could gripe about being overworked and underpaid, whine about the small ransom my babysitter is demanding before I can reclaim my offspring, and nay other complaints could rattle off before the bag boy was finished with me.  Then came my moment of “truth”.  The cashier looked me in the eyes, gave me the grin of a game-show host, and said the magic words, “Hi, How are you today?”

I felt the truth dancing around in my mouth, just waiting for it to open so it could jump off the end of my tongue and into the waiting ears of the cashier.   The “truth” was packed and ready for this trip, believe me.  I squared my shoulders, cleared my throat, looked the cashier square in the eyes, and said in my most crisp, loud, and assertive tone, “I’m fine, and you?”

With love,

From The Soul

Latest Issue: 92