If you were asked this off-hand: how many people are there on the planet? What would your estimate be? Seven billion? Eight billion? Chances are that this would have been a piece of general knowledge you are well accustomed with, so the answer would be on the tip of your tongue. But what if you were asked a question you did not know the answer to? Would you fib a response, meaning that you would fudge an answer and try to pass it off as a truth?
I suppose it would really depend on the situation. If your boss asked you if a particular report or piece of work had been finished – and usually the case would have been “no”, or else the boss would have got it already and need not have asked – then would you say “Yes, let me just print it off and bring it to you”, or would you admit, “No, I have still have another bit that I have not finished because last night I preferred to watch Netflix instead of taking my work home with me and working for free for this corporate company”?
We often fudge answers as a form of cover up. Do we really need to cover up? In a work situation, where our image is fairly important – you must be seen to be doing the work and not just be coasting by doing the bare minimum for the most pay, which is what most of us would probably prefer to do – then it is likely these forms of cover up and fudging exist in the work place. It is very much a case of “ready, fire and aim” rather than in a logical sequence. And sometimes the acknowledgement of the cover up is conveniently sidestepped by a half truth, such as “I’m dealing with it.” But the problem with these sorts of explanations is that the half truths catch up with you eventually.
What can we teach our children? We should show them how sometimes the acknowledgement of imperfection is a stage in the growing process. Learning to speak the truth instead of fudging a negative response is better in the long term. It also reflects that the child is doing some mental evaluation of his or her own abilities and strengths. Acknowledging this provides a useful starting point of reference, that forms the basis of future experiences – what is commonly called an anchor. (For more other child related posts particularly with reference to music education, see the Piano Teachers N8 website.)
Having a anchor that is well-defined sets a child off on the correct path in life. Of course, we have to set examples and drop anchors all our life!