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.