An Open Letter To Those Who Have Lied To Impress Others

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”
―Thomas Jefferson

This article was inspired by a short email we received recently from a new course student:

Dear Marc and Angel,

In one of your recent emails you asked your students to think about a weakness they’d like to change. Mine is telling lies. Although they’re usually just little lies, I’ve gotten carried away. I lie about things all the darn time mostly to just make myself appear better than I am… because I want to impress people. But it’s getting harder! I feel like every little lie leads to another one, and it’s wearing on me. I’m sick of my own dishonesty! Please help me break this habit. I need some motivation to make a change once and for all. Your wisdom on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

A Dishonest Student

Our reply (an open reply to all who have lied to impress people):

Dear Dishonest Student,

It’s time for a quick story about life…

Once upon a time, an aging king knew the end of his life was nearing, and he decided it was time to designate a successor. Since he had sadly lost his wife and children in a terrible accident, he chose to pass the throne on to one lucky child. So he summoned children from every corner of his kingdom and asked them to visit the castle immediately.

When the children arrived, he gave each of them one little brown seed. “I want you to plant your seed, give it sunlight and water, and take good care of it,” he said. “In exactly six months from today, return to the castle with the plant you’ve grown. The child who grows the most beautiful plant will be mentored by me to become the next king or queen!”

One of the lucky children who received a seed that day was a young girl named Skye. She immediately ran home and carefully planted her seed in a pot of nutrient-rich soil, and then placed it on a well-lit windowsill. Every day Skye watered and cared for her seed. A few weeks later several other children in her school began bragging about their beautiful plants, but Skye’s pot was still empty. Despite her constant care, her seed hadn’t grown at all.

Six months passed by quickly, and it was time for all the children to return to the castle to show the king the plant they had grown. Skye didn’t want to go with her empty pot of soil, but her parents told her to be honest about her failure. Discouraged and dejected, Skye listened to her parents and returned to the castle. She stood quietly at the very…

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