Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Scandals and Confessions

Years ago, when I was a reporter covering the NC legislature, I was standing talking with someone outside an office door, when the representative came out and jokingly handed me his tear-off calendar page for the day. The wisdom thereon was: Sin Boldly, which is attributed to religious revolutionary Martin Luther.

Perhaps because of the context and the fellow who was handing it to me (good-looking and known as squeaky-clean), I've always remembered it.

Having recently watched the John Edwards political disaster right here on my home turf, I've decided I want to expand the original adage.

Here's my version: If, after careful thought of potential wreckage, you're going to break a deal or violate your own values, do it boldly and honestly, with graceful acceptance of the consequences. Or tell reporters: It's private. Buzz off! Or at least don't tell indignant lies into the lens of a TV camera.

Most of us tend to have a jovial interest in an out-and-out rogue, and sympathy for a good guy who stumbles and comes clean. One way or the other, we tend to admire the boldness of full honesty (which is different from Too Much highly personal Information.)

But it's a rare individual who admires furtiveness. And it's such a human impulse to ward off blame. I remember saying once to my brother Franc: No, no, you have those papers, not me. It came out of my mouth like a reflex, a hasty self-defense; at best, I think I was hoping he had those papers. Turned out they'd been with me all along.

So I can't throw stones at the sneaky; it comes so naturally to us all.

But I do admire those who can say from the first: Yeah, I did that. That was me.

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Mojo said...

Okay... "papers"? A dozen different kinds of paper come to mind... which I suppose says more about how my mind works than it does about yours. *grin*

Peggy Payne said...

Not that kind of papers, Mojo. These had to do with a mortgage. Sorry!

Mojo said...

Oh... boy is my face red! Of course you meant mortgage papers. I don't know what I was thinking. Well actually, yeah I do... anyway.

I got this by email recently and thought of the last line in this post. This... this is bold!

An elderly man walks into a confessional where the following conversation ensues:
Man: "I am 92 years old, have a wonderful wife of 70 years,many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Yesterday, I picked up two college girls, hitchhiking.
We went to a motel, where I had sex with each of them three times."
Priest: "Are you sorry for your sins?"
Man: "What sins?"
Priest: "What kind of a Catholic are you?"
Man: "I’m Jewish."
Priest: "Why are you telling me all this?"
Man: "I’m 92 years old … I’m telling everybody!"

C'mon... you know you laughed.

Peggy Payne said...

Well, yeah, I did.