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Positive Talk

Telling the Truth and Lying Both Have Consequences
By Bill Hodges
Oct 9, 2008 - 10:12:51 AM

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Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott penned these words, “O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” and J. R. Pope, in A Word of Encouragement, added to this the lines, “But when we’ve practiced quite a while, how vastly we improve our style.” Actually, there is no style to lying and any fool can do it, especially to those who are trusting. No matter how accomplished a person is at lying, there is always someone better who can detect the lie. Here is a cute story to accentuate the point.

John invited his mother over for dinner. During the meal, his mother couldn’t help noticing how beautiful John’s roommate was. She had long been suspicious of a relationship between John and his roommate, Julie, and this only made her more curious.

Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between John and the roommate than met the eye. Reading his mom’s thoughts, John volunteered, “I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you, Julie and I are just roommates.”

About a week later, Julie came to John and said, “Ever since your mother came to dinner, I’ve been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle. You don’t suppose she took it, do you?”  John replied, “Well, I doubt it, but I’ll write her a letter just to be sure.”

So he sat down and wrote: Dear Mother, I’m not saying you took a gravy ladle from my house, and I’m not saying you did not, but the fact remains that a gravy ladle has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.  Love, John.

Several days later, John received a letter from his mother which read: Dear Son, I’m not saying that you do have a closer relationship with Julie than you told me, and I’m not saying that you do not, but the fact remains that if she were sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy ladle by now. Love, Mom.  Lesson of the day — Don’t Lie To Your Mother!

The true lesson is that no matter how smart you think you are, you cannot lie without leaving a trail, and when you involve others in your lie, you increase the possibilities for being found out.

A friend told me about four high school boys who came back from lunch late. The story went like this.  Four boys decided to get their prom tuxedos at lunch one day.  Because each of them had trouble finding what they wanted, the hour slipped away quickly and they found themselves returning to school late. All four were in Mrs. McGregor’s class, and she was very hard on those who came in late. To evade her wrath, the boys decided to tell her that a tire had blown on their car and they were late because they had to change it. To be sure she believed them, each of the boys dirtied his hands and even put some dust on his clothes. When they entered the classroom, Mrs. McGregor listened attentively to their story. She then asked each of the boys to go to a separate corner of the room with a piece of paper and a pencil.  With their faces to the wall, she asked them to write down the answer to one question—a question that proved to be their downfall. The question was,“Which wheel?” They failed the test.

Before you lie, think about it. Most of us could not stand complete honesty in our lives and consider a small lie to save someone’s feeling not wrong. However, be sure that is others’ feelings you are protecting and not yours. If you have done something stupid or wrong, admit it. It is better to take the consequences now rather than later when you will face the additional consequence of loss of trust.

Bill Hodges Hosts “Spotlight on Tampa Bay
Bill Hodges also hosts an interview-format television program, “Spotlight On Tampa Bay.” It airs Mondays at 8 p.m., Bright House cable channel 950 and Verizon cable channel 30. His guests for October 20 and November 3 will be Florida State House Representative Ed Homan, MD from District 60. He is an Orthopedic Surgeon and a professor at USF medical school. Among his assignments in the legislature is sitting on the Committee on Health Innovation. This program will be repeated on October 8, 22 and November 5 at 7:30 p.m. on channel 949.

Appearing on Monday, October 13 and 27, is Florida Senate District 12 Senator Victor Crist. Senator Crist will, among other things, give us his thoughts on subjects covered by the committees on which he serves such as the powerful Rules committee. The program will be repeated on Wednesday, October 15 and 29, at 7:30 p.m. on channel 949.

Bright House subscribers who cannot get the higher channels can get—at no installation fee and a monthly $1 fee—a box to allow access to the upper level government and educational channels. Call Bright House for rental details. If you are unhappy about paying extra to see your government in action, complain to your state representatives and the Hillsborough BOCC which have either caused this situation or been complicit in allowing it to continue.

Bill Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.

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Copyright 2008 Hodges Seminars International

© Copyright 2008 by The Observer News Publications and M&M Printing Company, Inc.

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