Unwavering Honesty

“Unwavering Honesty,” New Era, Feb. 2011, 44–45

Unwavering Honesty

Jordan P., California, USA

Each day at the beginning of my film class the teacher gave us a writing prompt. After letting us write for about 10 minutes he randomly picked five people, who could choose whether to share what they had written. Whenever he picked me, I’d decline.

One day the prompt was “Are there certain kinds of stealing or borrowing without permission that are OK? What’s the difference? When was the last time you stole something?”

I wrote an answer to the prompt and didn’t think much of it. After a few minutes the teacher started calling on people to share. I noticed that the first four people each had a story of what they had stolen and how they stole it. Then he called my name. Even though I usually said no, I got a feeling to share what I wrote. I started talking about how I didn’t think there was any good kind of stealing. Then I answered the part about the last time you stole something: I’ve never stolen anything in my life. Right away my teacher didn’t believe me and everyone in the class thought I was lying. I insisted that I was telling the truth. After about five minutes of my being called a liar, the teacher said, “I’m going to call your mom and ask if you’ve ever been caught stealing.” I told him to go ahead and do it. Then he left the classroom to call my mom. While he was out of the room, most of the kids in the class kept saying I was lying, and I didn’t understand what the big deal was.

The teacher came back into the class and everyone asked him what my mom had said. He announced to the class that my mom had verified that I had never stolen anything. Some of the kids weren’t convinced, but most of them were just shocked. My teacher was impressed and actually said, “You’re a better human than I am.”

I’m grateful to my mom for teaching me the importance of being honest. Until that day in film class I never thought that honesty was that rare. I’m glad that I took the opportunity to share with the class what I wrote and that my mom was there to back me up. With the help of my mother, I’ve become a trustworthy person.