What Is Truth?

Gathering for dinner one night last week, my Beloved and I were already seated when our four-year-old grandson H. arrived at the table in a rush, clearly hungry. Before lighting in his chair, he reached out to snatch a biscuit from the basket. My Beloved redirected the boy’s hand while asking, “Did you wash your hands?”

H. responded confidently, “Yes.” Then, without hesitation, he snagged a biscuit, turned his head away and in a stage whisper added, “Last week.” (Needless to say, the rest of us had a hearty laugh.)

Because H. had helped me prepare dinner, I knew he had washed during the previous hour … but had played outdoors just minutes before, so his overall cleanliness was doubtful.

As I reflected on his assertion, I had to admit he’d been technically accurate. He hadn’t actually lied when answering his grandfather’s question affirmatively. My Beloved had failed to specify before you came to the table just now.

Children learn early how to skirt the truth. They see deception modeled for them almost everywhere. With their sponge-like absorption of everything they see and hear, it shouldn’t surprise us when they lie with laughable boldness. Continue reading “What Is Truth?”