Recently I had the misfortune to deal with a couple of situations in which a person in authority lied to cover their own backside. I know that the natural instinct in life is to do whatever it takes to protect yourself, but when a person in authority lies, it is really inexcusable. People need to be able to trust those in authority. It is especially deplorable when a person in authority lies to our children. Children are looking for someone to model themselves after, to look up to, and when a person they trust lies and the child knows they lied, they begin to think that all adults are the same.
There were two recent situations whereby teachers/coaches lied to their students, and that especially angers me. We tell our children to listen to their teachers and be obedient in class, and when the teacher/coach is the liar, and our children are the ones who take the fall on it, or don’t receive what they were told they would receive…well, it is wrong in every way. The children lose faith in the teacher/coach, the school system, authority figures, and adults in general. They begin to feel that they are not important, so adults don’t feel the need to be honest. And to top it off, the same authority figure will “punish” in one way or another, the student for lying. If you are going to lie to the students, at least have the decency to expect the same treatment, and be big enough to let it go when they do lie to you. After all, what have you taught them? As a teacher, you have taught them not to lie as children, but when you reach adulthood…well, then it’s ok.
The one thing we can take with us, no matter where we go, is our good name, or bad name, if that is what you choose to cultivate. If you destroy your good name by lying, you must work awfully hard to get it back, if it is possible to do so. The best thing to do is to protect your good name by never telling lies, and keeping your word even when it costs you more than you had hoped.