I grew up being a huge liar. Mostly it was little white lies, and initially I would blush and give myself away, but then I began to perfect the art so well that I think I convinced myself I was telling the truth sometimes. When I met my ex-husband I had to my arse off quite a bit. It's not that I felt like I had done something wrong, it's just that I know HE thought it was wrong. I pride myself with having some sense, and I don't think I've ever done anything that was so stupid I can't get over it... except one big thing that I will always regret, but I thankfully can chalk that up to an extended manic episode. Not that it makes what I did okay! It's like people who cheat and say it was because they are drunk. We all have a moral compass and if it was a good one, being drunk would never excuse any kind of behavior. Clearly a lot of people lost their compasses somewhere in their childhood. Well anyway, all of my crimes are victimless except for this one thing... and now you all wish you know what it was, but that is going to my grave my friends!
Anyway, so one of the biggest things I've learned in my life is that honesty is the best policy. It started with my ex-husband. When we met I lied lied lied to cover up things that he thought were wrong, but I didn't. It was stupid, we were in high school, it was soooooo stupid. But I didn't want him to get mad, so I would lie. And then when he caught me lying, man did stuff hit the fan! And he would always say, "I am more mad at you for lying than for what you did." Then after that, I learned a lot from Judge Judy and she really did not like Liar Liar Pants on Fire..ers. Then I started realizing, why should I have to lie? I don't do anything BAD, so I shouldn't have to lie about it. I have a pretty high opinion of myself (half the people I know probably think I'm a cocky bitch) and I don't think that there is anything I do that is malicious or BAD. So why should I have to lie? The only times I have felt like I needed to is when I knew the other person was super judgmental and I didn't wanna have to deal with the backlash.
With my current husband, he will say the same thing- he's more mad if I lie than for what I did. Once again, I don't think I have wronged him in any way, but that is something he has to deal with. I have passed this same theory on to other things in my life. I find that I have a big issue with being lied to because it is SOOOOO disrespectful. I am trying to teach my children about this, but of course they are afraid of getting "punished" when generally they are so bad at not being caught that they might as well tell the truth.
So I have this one student in my class this semester who breaks so many stereotypes. I am so impressed and I truly think that his conscious decision to be honest, polite and respectful will get him far in life. One day he clearly copied someone's vocab and did it in a hurry because he left off the ends of the definitions and it made no sense. So I asked him about it and he said he did. He had mentioned before that he doesn't like lying. Anyway, so I have had an inkling about a few people in class who had been getting all their answers in the back of the book. He is one of them. He is pretty smart, so I think he does it because he wants to ensure good grades. But then when review tests and mastery tests come up he doesn't know the material as well. This chapter's answers were all varied, so when they came up with the exact "answers" from the back, it was totally obvious. I took the 5 people in the hall one at a time and the generic response was, "I only look the ones up that stump me." Well, it's not cheating, but I "lectured" them on how they don't learn from it. Then I sent them on their way. When I asked him, he flat out told me he does. I greatly appreciated his honesty, gave him my short lecture and sent him on his way. It just showed me how greatly I respect honesty in people.
To end this, I will quickly say that the only time I don't believe honesty is the best policy involves things you DON'T have to say. For instance, if I think that someone is a complete loser living off the government and being lazy, I'm not gonna tell them... cause that would be malicious... it's true, but it would be malicious.
So, to sum up... maliciousness bad, honesty good.