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Some of the things that were drilled into my ears when I was young seemed to no longer apply to me. Always be respectful to your elders was an uncompromising dictum of my youth, but I hardly ever find anyone who is older than I. Hey, would you please change that I to a “me” as I am getting fed up with all this prissy grammar that elite simpletons use to impress people.

As a child, I was admonished daily about the virtue of being honest, and I tried at times to be honest. Then I got into school administration and politics and learned that a different set of rules apply to school administration and politics. Now, do not get me wrong, some people are a lot more honest than others, but a totally honest man in these trades would be an offense to good judgment.

If you mind having the tag of dishonesty and deception pinned on you, you might want to think of avoiding school administration and politics as your occupation. However, on the plus side, they are both inside jobs with very little heavy lifting.

A hidden agenda is probably always deception, but it should hardly ever be equated with bold-faced lying. I made a little hay with my faculty when I admitted that my real purpose in calling a faculty meeting was to show who was boss and the only item on the agenda was to pick a time and place for the next meeting.

I hope you will not get all riled up about an honest look at dishonesty. To make any sense at all of the matter, you need to go to the issue of motive. Lying for a good reason might seem like a contradiction in terms, but it starts to make a lot more sense after you look at it closely.

I have written this essay in an effort to have fun, but I believe that one of our best ways of approaching truth is through the back door of humor. Do I believe that mankind is vile and unworthy? Certainly not.

If you think carefully, most of you can come up with a situation that merits a lie. I do, however, contend that we ought to think carefully before we tell lies that  are self-serving and damaging to our nation. Ultimately, all lies might fall into that category, but I will let you be the judge on that.

TOBY HIGHTOWER is a retired educator and former Hopkinsville High School teacher. His email address is Write to him at 222 S. 25th St., Apartment 434, Terre Haute, IN. 47803.

(1) comment


Reminds me a lot of the sort of thing that was drilled into my head in Sunday School. Lies even with good motives are often very damaging. Especially to very young impressionable, indoctrinable minds. Much potential intellect has been stunted by such practice over the years.

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