Sarah and Gwen: the Two-Headed Monster

This blog is about everything involving Lexington, KY or anything else we feel like yapping about.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What's Happened to Honesty?

With a question like "What's Happened to Honesty?" you might think I was planning to point out the actions of one of our political leaders. I'm not. The sad fact is there is too much dishonesty in politics to rate pointing fingers. None of us are surprised to discover a political leader has lied to us. We are most often surprised when elected officials tell us the truth.

Honesty simply isn't expected unless we are talking about sex. Much ado has been made of Clinton's lies to the American public over his sex life. We gleefully watched the press chase after Gary Hart when he dared them to discover his dishonesty. We want the dirty little secrets out but not the big ones. We don't talk much about Bush senior and his involvement in the Contra scandal. Heaven forbid that we accuse W of any dishonesty...that is...UN-American. Yeah right. That is just the problem...honesty is becoming un-American.

Right now the Atlanta-based Cumulus Media Company is being sued because a Lexington radio personality ran a contest with a hundred grand as the prize. Norreasha Gill filed a complaint Wednesday in Fayette District Court against the owners of WLTO-FM because the station presented her with a "100Grand" candy bar instead of the $100,000 she was expecting. Night host DJ Slick and some of his listeners might think the candy bar stunt funny. I doubt that the FCC will, but that isn't the point. Gill believed the station was acting in good faith. She should not have to depend upon anyone enforce honesty.

Right now someone very dear to me is headed to divorce court and possibly for bankruptcy. After thirty years of marriage and investment in excess of a million dollars into building their dream home, his wife decided she didn't want to live up to the contract they made. A lot of things could be said about his marriage breaking up, his job keeps him away for long hours; he and his wife have grown apart. But there were promises made and the expectation that those promises would be kept leaves him with children to raise alone and caused him to take on a load of debt that will be very difficult to manage alone. On a very personal level someone wasn't honest. Now the courts will sort it out.

If you want to know why our country has more litigation than any other in the world you don't have to look far. When honesty becomes un-American our courts are strained to the breaking point with the excess baggage of our lies. No matter how highly placed we must not listen to those who tell us not to question. We have a duty to our children, our nation, and ourselves to demand honest answers to our questions. We must hold the dishonest accountable at every level of society. Most of all we have a responsibility to demand honesty of ourselves. As always, truth begins or ends with us.


Blogger Sarah G said...

I think sometimes the problem stems from the punishments we hand out to the honest. As children, we are forgiven if we admit to something, but if an adult confesses to wrongdoing, they are pilloried (okay, so I always wanted to use that word in a blog) by their loved ones, the press, etc. It doesn't help that, because of our legal system, we are advised to keep our mouths shut - not even saying 'I'm sorry' - when we are in a traffic accident. Doing so is taken not only as an admission of guilt, but as an admission of complete guilt.

On the personal level, facing up to relationship issues is often viewed as far more difficult, and painful, than the quick legal kiss-off, the 'Dear John' letter, or the empty apartment when you arrive home one evening. I think a sense of fair play, rather than blame, might assist in saving a relationship, but sometimes it's the last thing the person leaving wants. Sometimes the honesty we fear the most is within ourselves.

5:29 PM  

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