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Plain and Simple for March 2, 2017 / March 02, 2017
I found myself thinking about my father this week.

He passed away much too young over thirty years ago.

Nonetheless, I still miss him.

One of the things that he taught me is something that I am sure that my readers remember: your word is your bond. If you say you are going to do something or you say that you are speaking the truth, then you better follow through on it.

I remember that I went to a kindergarten that was set up only a few blocks from our home. It was actually rare in my day for anyone to go to kindergarten or preschool so it was a special privilege for me.

I loved to learn and I thought this would be a grand adventure.

One day some money went missing. I guess that I was the last one to be seen in the room with the money so they blamed me. They called my father to come take me home.

When my father got there, he asked me, man-to-man, if I had taken the money.

I told him no. He looked at the director and told her, “If he says he did not take it, then he did not take it.”

I know that we have parents today who believe anything their child says even when there is video evidence to the contrary.

In my day, though, the teachers usually won out. I was upset with being accused of the theft but my father’s faith in me meant everything to me.

The next day, they discovered who had actually taken the money and called to ask my father to send me back to school.

He said simply, “Clyde will never go there again. We know the value of truth in our family.”

Few things have made such a difference in my life.

I learned that there is nothing more rewarding than being trusted. I learned that, to be trusted, you cannot lie when it benefits you.

I will not be foolish enough to say that I never shade the truth a little in order to save the feelings of another person: “Oh yes, honey, that dress looks magnificent.”

But I will never lie to save myself or to intentionally mislead someone.

As I watch what is going on in the world, I am appalled.

You sign contracts and make deals and you hope and pray they will be honored.

My father and the people of his day shook hands. Nothing was more binding.

I watch our president give us “alternative facts.”

I look at Facebook and see ridiculous stories that have no basis in any fact-driven universe.

We have even come to question whether there is any objective truth.

Because of my father and his generation, I believe there is truth out there and we need to tell it.

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