Tell the Truth? or Not?

The Right Decision

Back to 1966, senior year, high school.

I was in my class one day, waiting for the teacher to arrive. I heard the guys laughing about what they did to our teacher's brand new car. I overheard one kid say hey Jackie, that was a great idea! (This teacher was not liked by the boys, for whatever reason).

Well, it seems they thought it would be absolutely funny to trash his brand new car, and they did, by throwing paint all over it. I sat there minding my own business, taking all this in, thinking, oh my God, how awful!

So the teacher arrives, we have our class and the bell rings for the next class. I made it through till the end of the day, then acted on a decision I made while processing what had happened.

I went to the principal and told him what happened, and, WHO was responsible. If I recall, this was a Friday. So, Monday arrives and I get to school, and go to my first class. I immediately noticed nobody was sitting in the desks next to me. Then, I heard rude comments, 'snitch', 'squealer', etc, while being bombarded with spitballs. This continued throughout the day, even the girls I hung with weren't speaking to me. I went home in tears.

I told my mom what happened, and why the kids were picking on me. She said, Tricia, just go to school and keep a smile on your face, say hello to your friends, and pretend it doesn't bother you. Well, I thought, that's a pretty tall order.

Now, my senior class trip was coming up, and I was still being teased and ignored, but later in the day, one of my girlfriends asked me if was I going on the trip. (I looked at her and thought she had 3 heads). So I said, no, I'm not going, I just don't feel like it, and besides, I don't have the money to go, not to mention everyone seems to hate me.

Another week or so goes by, and I get to homeroom and find an envelope on my desk. Inside was money, enough for me to go on our trip. Apparently a group of the kids decided I was tortured enough and they all chipped in so I could go. I just looked at them, dumbfounded,,,,,they said, we're sorry we treated you that way. You did the right thing.

I guess taking my mom's advice paid off. Everything I was ever taught about telling the truth stayed with me apparently, and I was rewarded. So, for me, is was a lesson well learned, one I carry with me today.

PS: I went to my 25th reunion, and walked up to the boy responsible for trashing our teacher's car. I told him I was the one who ratted him out, he said he knew. I told him I was sorry for getting him in trouble, and even he said, you did the right thing :)

So folks, do you find that telling the truth can be a balancing act? Kind of like, if you tell you're damned, and if you don't, you're damned?

In any case, in retrospect, even though there were consequences for me, (which I never expected) I did what I felt would be the right thing to do.

Comments 36 comments

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

We need to have coffee. I never heard this one.

Trish, you rock!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

I am amazed! I thought you knew ALL of my deepest, darkest secrets LOL,,,,

love ya!

Patty


Rarejewel 8 years ago

Honesty is always the best policy.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Yes rarejewel, it is. Thanks for reading this hub.

Patty


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 8 years ago from California

trish,

Another great story illustrating your courage and bravery. You go girl! Thanks for really letting us know who you are. Integrity and honesty are two fleeting qualities.


flread45 profile image

flread45 8 years ago from Montana

You did the right thing,by telling the teach.Who cares if the so called friends quit you.That just tells you that they weren't freinds anyway..


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

InTheDoghouse, thank you for the kind comments.  I just do the best I can, and by no means am I perfect, I do make mistakes.  

At the ripe old age of almost 60, I've had a lot of practice, LOL

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Firead,,,yes, sometimes that's exactly how you find out who your true friends are.

Thanks for commenting,

Patty


funride profile image

funride 8 years ago from Portugal

Honesty always "pays out" sooner or later ;) . If you hadn´t say something to your teacher that day you probably would never excuse your self.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

See, Patty, you were strong and smart...it's in your heart...

And today...those in mischief should beware...there's a camera somewhere and you'll end up on UTube.  

lol   It's hard being shunned, but it's worse if we have to live with our "wudda cudda shudda's" 

My middle son defended a girl on the school bus who was being threatened by a boy...My son stepped in between the boy and girl...and said, "pick on me instead or sit down and shut up."  The boy sat down but when he got off the bus, he waited for my son.  D. stepped off the bus and the boy swung at him.  D. ducked (quick reactions) and then punched him in the nose.

Just once....and then walked home.  The next day they were both called in the office.  The bus driver had reported what he saw, so that helped.  The other boy had a reputation for fighting and was expelled for 3 days.  D. was expelled for a half day...and actually spent the time with one of his coaches who thought he was a hero. 

Though I cautioned him about not biting off more than he could chew, he said "No one is going to hit a girl while I'm around."  To this day he's still the defender of the world.  He doesn't swing first, but he seems to always be defending the picked on.  He said even getting suspended didn't bother him.  I was there and so proud of him.   He shook the principal's hand and said "it's ok, sir, you are just doing your job and I was just doing mine."  Even the principal chuckled. 

KIDS. 


commentonthis7 profile image

commentonthis7 8 years ago

honesty is the best great hub


cjcs profile image

cjcs 8 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

I think integrity, while always lauded in hindsight, is one of the most difficult aspects of life we ever have to handle in the present. You need to balance conflicting loyalties and responsibilities. That it is remarked upon when it is demonstrated shows how precious it is. I think it's more than honesty...it's being the person you hope your children will one day become (unless your want your children to be bug-eating mass-murderers....in which case, never mind). That you were able to do this in the right way at the right time at such a young age speaks volumes as to who you are. Very. Well. Done. And thank you so much for sharing such an important lesson for us all.


whitneyawhite profile image

whitneyawhite 8 years ago from Northern Idaho

Doing the right thing isn't always the easiest choice. And the easy choice isn't always the right. It IS a balancing act. But you have to go with your heart and do what you know is right. And I'd be willing to be that the boys who got in trouble can look back at their lives and see how things would have been different had you not turned them in. Often, with moments like that, people can look back as an adult and see how their lives would have been different had they been allowed to continue down that path without consequences.

And how wonderful that your friends pulled together to help you go on the Senior trip! At least they were able to see their actions for what they were at the time, and not several years down the road when it was really too late to make amends.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Patty (let me try to leave a comment again....) I must say that you showed extraordinary bravery as a teenager to do the right thing! So many kids don't have that strength. And then to stand up again to the bully so many years later. This is a wonderful Hub. I enjoy your writings so much - Steph


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi funride,

Well, I don't know, after all, I was just a kid, but I sure would like I'd have had a guilty conscience for not doing the right thing.

Thanks for writing,

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Marisue,

I certainly have been tested, and been surprised that I am stronger than I think I am.

Good for your son!! I can imagine how proud you were! but hey, sounds to me like he has a fine role model :)

Thanks for writing,

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Absolutely, commentonthis, and I'm glad you enjoyed this hub.

Thanks for writing,

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi cjcs, you are so right. So many things are crystal clear in hindsight. With all the distractions in the world that weren't there when I was growing up, I am amazed that my kids have turned out as well as they have. It's so very easy to lose sight of your own integrity.

Thanks for the compliment, I was glad to share.

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

whitney, thank you very much for your comments. You're right, and it is those very choices we make that define our lives. I'm just grateful I had good teachers (and that I listened, there's the miracle lol).

Thanks for writing,

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Steph, aren't you sweet! I had my mom backing me up on that one, and I remember doubting that I could do what she suggested, but I did manage to do it.

Actually, standing up to the 'bully' (the kid who did the dirty deed) was quite a pleasure, as, back in school he was a skinny little twerp, and when I saw the name tag on this guy, I was blown away. Wow, did he turn out handsome! He got much taller, hair got darker and he was just plain good looking lol,,,,,,,he did say, hey, I'm surprised you remember that, it was so long ago, I've forgotten about it. So, I guess it was more 'life changing' for me than it was for him.

Anyway, I'm very glad you like what I write, just proves, once again, that my best friend and biggest fan told me to check hubpages out, because, as she put it, 'you have so much to say'. I guess she was right :)

Patty


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Very good hub.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

its neat that one person's story reminds another person and so the chain of connections go....

really a neat feeling....Marisue


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

UninvitedWriter,

Thanks very much, glad you liked it.

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Marisue,

Yes, it is a neat feeling to see how it all works. Although the world is filled with unique individuals, we all share the same kinds of feelings and thoughts. Brings to mind an expression, the 'tapestry of life'.

Thanks for writing,

Patty


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

So many people choose not to get involved nowadays. It is so nice to hear about people who still value honesty and integrity. While it is easier to keep your head down and your mouth shut, doing the right thing always pays the highest dividends in life. Great hub!


esocial profile image

esocial 8 years ago from California

Great question! In this case, I agree with turning in the offenders. Justice was due, because what they did actually caused damage.

However, the smart way to do it would have been with an unsigned note slipped under the door! That would have saved you plenty of heartache :)


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

Hey there Patty, I just found this video on CNN -- you might have seen it but it goes along with being honest and doing the right thing...thought you might like and so would others... go here:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2008/04/10/pkg.return.cash.kabc

enjoy!! this guy is quite a hero...Marisue


jezzbb profile image

jezzbb 8 years ago from Philippines

It was not just your intellect that told you what to do. It was also your honest heart! The world needs more people like you.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi rmr,

Thanks so much for your kind comments. I'd like to believe there are more people out there who would choose to do the same. I'm sure there are, we just don't hear about them enough.

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

hi esocial,

I'm glad you agree. I never would have thought to slip a paper under the door however,,,cause I really didn't give a thought to consequences, certainly not for me LOL,,,

thanks for writing,

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hey Marisue,

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out, and thanks for sending.

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi jezzbb,

Thanks so much for the compliment!

Patty


dlhoh 8 years ago

Hello Patty, this is an interesting hub and entertaining as well. My wife who is an early childhood educator often tells me that kids can be very cruel to each other. LOL. But they can also be very conscientious creature. From reading your other hubs, I believe that your action had always arised from an honest heart. Cheers!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi dlhoh,,,

Thank you very much! I often wonder if my zodiac sign, Libra, has anything to do with the way I am. Libra's characteristics certainly fit me for the most part. Nice to give credit to the stars LOL but I believe my parents had a lot to do with the way I turned out.

thanks for the kind words and happy hubbing!

Patty


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

What do we have if we don't have the truth? We have a slippery slope. We have a blurred vision. We do not have reality. Whatever we can have is a reality. And that's the truth!

Thank you for being truthful!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Micky,

I totally agree. I have had the unfortunate experience of living with a liar, which I also wrote about in another hub, which I see, you have read.

I can still hear my mom to this day saying there is nothing worse than a liar.

In my case, it took me over two years to realize I was being lied to. Ok, call me gullible lol. The good news is I found out, albeit late.

Truth is one of the building blocks of character, in my opinion.

Thanks for stopping by, always a pleasure to see you here.

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