The Dilemma

By Rick • September 7, 2016

To lie or not to lie. Telling the truth sucks compared to the benefits of lies. We learn this as mere babes. "The dog ate the cookie. Not me, Mom," kinda stuff. And it gets far more serious later in life. But we all have to make the choice. Every day the dilemma presents itself. For some it seems there is no dilemma at all. Lying gets easier. Some become masters. Others struggle each day to do what their conscience says is right. Telling the truth gets easier for them too. But alas, like nice guys, they often finish last. Or do they? I don't know.

Lies only have short term benefits and need to be used constantly to keep the ego on a roll. Maybe the truth only pays off big in the long run. Perhaps honest folks know what I mean. I don't think there is some nebulous spiritual reward for honesty. No, I think it is a personal reward that is ten times more beneficial than any pack of lies could achieve in the short run. But I suppose I could never convince a hard core liar of that.

Maybe I know this because I started out with a lie. Stealing is a lie. Before I could pronounce many words, much less "dilemma" I had one. I must have been four. I don't know how many toys I had but the rich neighbor boy had lots of bigger and better ones. He left them often on a dirt pile near the property line. He had several large steel construction toys. I really liked the big steel truck with wheels. I thought, "He has lots of other ones." as I snuck back to my house with the truck. I didn't know him. That made it easier. I remember almost nothing of those pre-school years in the 50's, but I remember the terrible feelings I struggled with. Life was not fun living with that lie. It was not right. I felt bad. No one ever asked me about the truck, but in a couple days I put it back on the dirt pile with his other toys.

I wished I had never taken it because it left a scar in my mind. I failed to do the right thing when I had to make a choice! I chose to lie and steal. I don't think I even knew those words or ideas then, but I remember the bad feelings. Returning it was not a reprieve for me. I vowed, almost as an adult would, to never do that again. I don't know what my conscience is, but I hope I get the privilege of finding out one day. Don't you go dumping it either, for your own sake if no one else's.

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