Years ago, children were taught to tell the truth. When a mis-deed occurred they took responsibility, prepared for the consequences, and hesitantly reported the facts as they happened.
Today, speaking the truth is often considered inappropriate. Consider the following:
I have a friend who is a nurse. This morning she shared that she was continually criticized for having “no filter.” She actually felt it necessary to defend what she described as “her tendency to tell the truth.” The real question is, “Who would want a nurse who didn’t tell the truth?”
This cultural shift toward negatively labeling a truth teller – marking them as a person with “no filter” – presents to our children a character model filled with compromise. Right and wrong are neither fluid nor negotiable. Either an event happened or it didn’t. Either something is the truth or it is a lie. There should be no confusion.
Having “no filter” used to mean that the person was unskilled in a social situation and could not determine what was an appropriate response in a certain circumstance. But today, the term is used in a demeaning way, judging a person harshly for speaking truth.
A teacher friend of mine recently posted this on Facebook:
“One of the biggest rules I have in class: “Be honest!” I can work with that …would much rather a kid mess up, admit it, and we come up with a solution. Teaching kids to overcome is paramount in life!!!”
If we want our young people to grow up respecting what is right and authentic, then perhaps we should explain to them that, in spite of what the world would say, there is no higher use of language than to speak … the truth.Note: For more information on children and lying, read our article entitled “Embroidered Truth.“