We talk about our long-term economic troubles on my show. But I always thought our bigger, short-term problem is a recession of trust.
We're lying to each other. We're lying to ourselves. That was the theme of Monday's show: We have to be able to tell each other the truth.
You know, when I was a kid, my father taught a valuable lesson to us three kids growing up. We had rules and sometimes we broke them, just like you probably did in your house. But there was one rule you didn't screw with dad on. We didn't lie in our family.
One day, my older sister was playing hooky from school. My dad worked at the bakery all the time — we owned our own small business. And he picked us up in the middle of the day — my younger sister and I — loaded us in the backseat of the car and we said, "What's up, Dad?" He said, "Apparently, your sister is sick. And the principal called and she was out sick and I didn't know that. So we're going to go look for her."
Well, we drove around and pretty soon we saw her walking down the street. My dad turned around and he just said, "Don't either of you say a word."
She got into the car and my dad said, "How was school?"
We were all sitting at the back thinking: "Don't lie. Don't lie to Dad. Don't lie."
Well, she made up some stories: "Oh, it was great. You know, we had a test today."
When we got home, my dad put the car in park and then he said, "What's the one rule we have in this family that you just don't ever break?"
"We don't lie to each other, Dad."
My dad always said that a family could weather any storm, but not a family that lies to each other. Once you lie to each other, you don't trust anything and then the whole thing falls apart. It all falls apart. She never forgot that lesson.
But maybe it's time for my dad to come pick us all up in his car, because I think everybody is lying to each other. We're lying to ourselves. And if we can't trust each other, we can't trust ourselves to even admit the truth, it becomes impossible to come together and it all falls apart like a house of cards.
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