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Even a little Fib can lead to Unhappiness later
Right from the very beginning, it is incumbent upon elders to teach youngsters the importance of telling the truth. Here is a small example to show how making up stories to playfully befuddle a younger sibling, can produce unhappy consequences for a child. Once upon a time, a father wanted to give a special gift to his son on the son's birthday. Because of the love he felt for his son, this father gave the boy a gold coin, asking him to go to his mother and get a ring made out of the coin. The next day the son had his examinations; he kept the gold coin on the table where he was studying.
Now this boy had a younger sister who was very curious and mischievous. She entered the room and saw the gold coin. She took it in her hand and asked, "Brother, what is this?" He told her, "It is a gold coin." She asked, "Where did you get this?" Jokingly, he said, "Well, it grew on a tree." "How could this gold coin come from a tree?" his little sister asked. He then made up a story and proceeded to tell her a number of fibs. He said, "If you treat this as a seed and sow it by putting it in the ground, then pour water on it and tend it and protect it, a tree will soon come forth. Then from this tree you will be able to get many more gold coins."
She started asking some more questions, but he said, "Listen, I don't have time to talk to you now. I have to study. Ask me later." Seeing that he was busy, she took the opportunity to pocket the gold coin and left. From there she went into the yard and dug a small pit. She put the gold coin into the hole and covered it with soil. She poured water on the mound. All the while, she was thinking of what her brother had told her, how a tree would grow out of the gold coin, if it was planted.
A maid-servant, who was watching this little girl from a window, saw her put the gold coin in the hole. When this little girl went inside the house, the maid dug up the hole and took the coin. After some time, the mother came and asked the son to get ready to go to school. He wanted to give the coin to his mother so that she would have a ring made out of it for him, as his father had suggested. But the boy could not find the gold coin anywhere. He went to his younger sister and asked her whether she had seen it. She said, "Brother, I thought if we could grow a tree out of it, we could get lots of coins like that; so I've planted the coin in a hole I made in the garden." They went to the place and dug around, but the coin was not to be found.
Now the boy was very distressed. On his birthday, when he should have been very cheerful, he was crying. He told all this to his mother. His mother asked him, "But, tell me, son, why did your little sister take the gold coin and bury it in the garden?" The boy did not know, so the little girl was sent for and asked why she had done what she did. She said, "Brother explained to me how this would turn into a gold-coin tree; so I did as he said." His mother told the boy, "Because you made up this story and knowingly told an untruth to your little sister, the consequence is that instead of being happy and enjoying your birthday, you are weeping. And not merely that, you have also lost the gold coin that your father gave you."
If children are permitted to tell lies and harbor untruths at their tender age, this habit will grow and grow with the years. On the other hand, if you teach them from the earliest years to take truth as the basis of their lives, they will grow in character and be able to achieve many great things.