There were two things in the paper this morning that struck a chord with me today, and they both have to do with Honesty.
One was an article in Dear Abby, where a woman had gotten something returned to her when she had taken some boxes for recycling and left something in it. Another was a Thought of The Day that I always read in the News every morning, it is from EV Lucas, an English author and critic (1868-1938).
"The art of life is to show your hand. There is no diplomacy like candor. You may lose by it now and then, but it will be a loss well gained if you do. Nothing is so boring as having to keep up a deception."
Boy, if anyone knows me they know me to be FULL of candor. I've always prided myself on telling the truth as I see it. It's what made me a good and a bad journalist at the same time -- in that sometimes even your editors don't want to hear the truth, but the trait is an honorable one I think. Even at the risk of losing a job or a friend, I'd much rather be known for being honest, rather than be known for deception and therefore be untrustworthy.
And the first thing -- the Dear Abby article -- made me think of our first trip to London a few years ago when Brian and I went to Europe. We had just gotten off the plane the morning before, and that evening had tickets to ride The London Eye across the river from Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. I stopped to buy some postcards, which were 6 for $1 British Pound, and I gave the lady a $10 pound note. As I was counting my change (mostly out of curiousity since I got a bunch of neat coins back), I realized she had given me all $10 pounds back.
I said "I think I got the wrong change back," and the lady thought I was accusing her of not giving me enough, but quickly I said "No, I mean to say you gave me too much change back."
I'll never forget the look on her face as I handed her a $1 pound coin back, and those words in a heavy Cockney accent. "Well look at that," she said. "An honest LIE-DAY".
I know I'm not perfect at this -- but I wish more people saw the value of honesty, and would not just do it themselves but teach it to their children. I think most people would find that it feels good to give that change back or to speak the truth.
And sometimes just being honest gets you a good memory from London.