In Holland we have this saying “Eerlijkheid duurt het langst”. This literally translates to “Honesty takes the longest” and I just cannot say that I agree. And while I get that this isn’t exactly what they mean with this saying (It’s really more like “a lie will always be discovered, but the truth will always stay true”) it did get me thinking.
I got me thinking about how much I care about the worth of truth. Because its something I consider very important, even though it can be hard sometimes. A lie is easy, it doesn’t bring bad consequences and people will mostly believe it (at the beginning). But being honest, that can be difficult on certain occasions.
And I’m not talking about the little white lies, because yes, I’ve told them. I haven’t always been completely honest and while I’m not proud of it it’s still true.
But right now I want to talk about the bigger lies. The lies about the things that I or the other people involved consider important.(And I also count deliberately hiding something under the category of lying. Because in the end, the intent is mostly the same.)
Because those are the worst kind of lies and the lies I think you should try your hardest to avoid.
And some people may argue that sometimes it’s needed. That a lie can protect or help somebody, but I still don’t know if I completely agree with that. The only time when I really consider it okay is when it’s to save somebody from themselves, like when they have problems with mental health or something, but in other situations, I just cannot seem to agree with it.
Let me explain why. Firstly, the truth is always discovered. And yes there could be exceptions, but do you really want to take that risk? Because if there’s one thing I know it’s that while words or actions can hurt people, hiding them and later discovering that somebody did that to you, is even worse. You get the combined pain of the thing you hid + the fact that you hid it. And something like that can damage trust in ways that can’t always be fixed.
And secondly there is the guilt. Because lying or hiding things causes that. Nobody feels good while hiding something or lying to somebody, especially if you really care about the person you’re doing this to. As a person I really aspire to be honest and if there’s something I haven’t been honest about it really starts bothering me because I guess some part of me feels like I’m betraying their trust in a way.
So I just want to remind people, just for a minute, that while telling the truth can be hard sometimes, it really is your best option and I think you should always try to do that. You have to treat people the way you want to be treated and if you aren’t honest with them, how can you expect them to be honest with you?