‘Honesty is the best policy.’
Describe an experience when this was true for you.

The proverb ‘honesty is the best policy’ advises people that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I have always believed in the proverb. When I was about eleven years old, my honesty saved two friends’ lives.



Charlotte has been my best friend since we were very young. We are extremely intimate and do everything together. Her father passed on when she was three years of age and she lives with her mother and elder sister. Since the demise of her father, her mother is the sole breadwinner of the family. Although Charlotte’s mother does all she could to bring up Charlotte and her sister, Charlotte tells me that her mother is extremely strict with them. At times, she is so harsh that they find it hard to accept her ways.

Unfortunately one day, Charlotte and her sister had a big argument with their mother. The next day, Charlotte told me that she and her sister planned to run away from home. I felt really uneasy about their plan. I persuaded them against running away and to think twice before they acted. In spite of my persuasion, Charlotte told me that they had already made up their mind. When I asked her where they were planning to stay, she replied to say that they would stay at the abandoned house at the edge of the forest. She also said that I could go and visit them but I must not tell anyone about their hiding place. She also sworn me to secrecy.

That very night, Charlotte and her sister ran away from home when their mother was sound asleep. The next day when she discovered that they were missing, she was worried sick. Apprehensive about their safety, she lodged a police report. The police formed a search party to search for the sisters but their efforts were in vain. In desperation, she asked me whether I knew where they were. Although I did, I said I had no idea of their whereabouts in order to keep the promise that I made to the sisters. Their mother was disappointed at my reply and I felt guilty about lying to her.

The following day, I went to visit Charlotte and her sister. It was a wet morning as it had been drizzling since daybreak. Upon arriving at the place, I was taken aback to see the bad state of the dilapidated wooden house, which stood in a bleak and desolate landscape. Many parts of the house were rotten and its roof was leaky. The sisters, who appeared to be pale, were glad to see me. Even though they were tired, weak, thirsty and hungry, they pretended that they were happy to live in the house.

After visiting them, I felt sorry about their living conditions. Although I promised to bring them some food and drinks, I went to see their mother instead. I apologised to her and told her the truth. All at once, the huge weight of keeping the secret and lying were lifted off my shoulders. Their mother could not be more grateful to me. Accompanied by the police and me, she went to fetch her daughters from the house. By the time we reached there, the sisters were almost dying of dehydration and starvation.

Albeit Charlotte was angry with me for breaking the promise, she eventually forgave me and realised that I was actually doing the right thing. She and her sister thanked me for doing them a favour and saving their lives. Their mother promised to be more reasonable and she does live up to her promise. Until today, I still believe that ‘honesty is the best policy’.