Thursday, May 20, 2010


DJ told me he has a friend, Keith, that tells lies. Keith tries to impress people by saying he has lots of toys and money. If someone gets a special honor, he claims he received the same one. DJ likes to play with Keith, but recognizes that his lying isn't cool. Tonight I asked him to think about his friend, and how sad it is that he feels he must tell lies to get attention.
DJ then told me about his other friend, Charlie, who is happy for him if his artwork gets displayed at school, and can be himself no matter what. Guess who he'd rather play with? Even at the age of 8, kids can tell a genuine person from a braggart, and choose who they want to spend time with on the playground. Charlie doesn't have more stuff than Keith, and he isn't better at sports or video games. But he doesn't have to pretend to be something he's not to feel good.
In yogic philosophy the term for truthfulness is Satya. It implies being honest with speech and actions, but also honest with our own thoughts. My guess is that Keith has an elaborate system of lies in his own mind to justify the way he acts. I feel sad that he lacks confidence and will surely lose friends because of his lying. It was a good way to talk about Satya, and how even little fibs that don't seem to matter can hurt you. The kids could easily recognize that Keith's lies were not terrible or harmful to others, but were hurting him all the same. I hope they also learned to show compassion to a braggart, and recognize that his lies come from sadness inside.

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1 comment:

  1. It's interesting how insecurity can breed dishonesty. For some reason what comes to mind is that wonderful movie, "Napolean Dynamite." The main character would nonchalantly tell these horrendous lies, like how he was dating a super model or something like that. Somehow it was endearing in the film. I'm glad you helped your son have compassion for the braggart.