Who doesn’t like a good story?
After spending my prodigal youth hitchhiking cross country and circling the globe, living abroad for a decade, and teaching high school for over 20 years, I have a few stories to tell.
But it still happens that friends and neighbors occasionally respond to my recollections by asking: “Did that really happen?”
Are my tales so truly unbelievable? I never claimed to have helped Edison invent the light bulb or to have masterminded the Normandy invasion.
I’ve merely looked for the story within the story, plucking insights from slightly quirky encounters and offering a bit wisdom from my observations on the human condition.
“I loved your article,” someone will say. And then, predictably: “Did that really happen?”
I even get it from my mother.
To be honest, it should come as no surprise. After all, honesty has seen its market value tumble over the years with countless reports of plagiarism, factual carelessness, and blatant fabrication.
But as troubling as such prevarication may be from the media, it’s far more disheartening when it becomes the norm among our political leaders.
The sad truth is that we expect our politicians to lie. But the brazenness with which they conjure up easily verifiable falsehoods grows ever more astonishing.
Once integrity disappears, the only motive not to lie is fear of not getting away with it — and in a society that has grown indifferent to lying, there are rarely consequences for even the most brazen lies.
And that has consequences for all of us.
But there is something we can do.