Be honest and true to oneself
Abraham Lincoln revelled in the nickname ‘Honest Abe’ and embraced it with pride. Once, while working in a store as a young man, he mistakenly took six cents too many from a customer. Upon realising his mistake, after the store closed, he walked three miles to return the customer’s money. This character trait of honesty was doubtless one of the main reasons he was later selected to be the President of the United States and Lincoln worked hard to uphold his integrity and reputation as an honest politician and lawyer.
Some might argue that Lincoln is in the minority and perhaps the world needs more leaders who tell the worst truth rather than the best lie. Sir Walter Scott warned us of the tangled webs we will weave when we attempt to deceive because the truth will always come out eventually, regardless of how airtight we consider our lie. This is important for children to understand. No matter how badly we think someone will react to something we have done wrong, we can be sure that the reaction will be far worse if we tell a fib and they find out we have lied to them. Integrity is so important and is at the heart of a St Andrew’s Prep education. Androvians are encouraged to be honest and true to themselves, even when admitting to mistakes. As Shakespeare wrote, ‘To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.’ (Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3)