In my book, Ask More, Tell Less: A Practical Guide for Helping Children Achieve Self-Reliance, Chapter 5 begins with:
Human lives lived well are rooted in developing the ability to mentally and emotionally self-manage. Self-confident, self-reliant souls are consistently able to be present and accept and handle the myriad challenges that arise across a lifetime. To achieve this state of living, I have come to believe that self-honesty is the starting place. As mentioned previously, I ask every young person I meet: Who do you think is the most important person to begin telling the truth to?
If you want your children to become independent and self-reliant navigators of their lives, it is absolutely necessary to teach them how to practice self-honesty. Telling the truth is not a new idea, yet rarely do I see self-honesty taught, reinforced, and honored as a lifelong practice.
Charlotte McCourt, 11, felt compelled to follow Girl Scout law while selling the famous cookies:
“I will do my best to be honest.”
When Steve Hartman asks her why honesty is so important to her, Charlotte replies,
“…It’s like the core feeling…if you aren’t honest then what are you?”
Steve Hartman states,
“Honesty has become such an aberration, the truth so sadly missed…”
hypothesizing after reading Charlotte’s letter about the various girl scout cookies, people felt compelled to support her (honesty). It seems she answered my question above,
“When I tell myself the truth, all Girl Scout cookies are not equal…”
Enjoy her “brutally honest” letter and, more importantly, I hope you see the beautiful early start Charlotte has in self-honesty, which turns into honesty-with-others-practice that will serve her for a lifetime.