When I was a youngster enjoying the treats of Halloween, most of our costumes were home-made. We didn’t have the difficult decision as to which store-bought gear we would dress up in on Halloween night. Supplies for costumes were scarcer than our imaginations and, so, creativity suffered. Some were fortunate enough to have a spare sheet in the house which led to several ghosts floating around the neighborhood every year.
But most of us would bundle up against the cold of a Tennessee October evening wearing our own clothes. In the tradition of the holiday, however, we felt it necessary to hide our faces. Knowing that the person who answered our knock at the door couldn’t tell who we were added to the excitement.
The extent of my Halloween costumes usually was just a covering for my face. In my childhood we called these “false faces.” What a highlight it was to go to the drugstore and select a false face for Halloween.
I wonder if grown-ups ever wear false faces. Surely not. Surely we see everyone as they honestly are, never any imitations. Do I ever deal with a false face instead of the real person before me?
Trustworthiness can only thrive in the absence of deception. There can be no honor in one’s word if there is dishonesty in that word.
From individuals to bureaucracies, integrity can pave the way toward principled morality. And if all relationships are bathed in such a freedom from deceit, honest dealings could result. Wouldn’t it be great to replace all fraud with uprightness? To swap suspicions for trust?
Let’s leave the costumes and face covering for the children to enjoy. Deception by adults only brings the need to deceive again and again to maintain the false face. It’s simpler to live in accord with what is right.
Let’s get out from behind those false faces! Let’s discard the adult false faces and walk in honesty with all persons.
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