Honesty campaign Cebu seaportHouse, MD is one of my favorite TV shows (one of the few that I actually do my best to find the time to watch). The phrase, “everybody lies,” is the Dr. House’s favorite line. House deals with patients who lie trough their teeth, sometimes even at the cost of their lives, and most often than not, become a hindrance to his diagnosis.

I’m not a very trusting person myself—I can count the people who can say they know me with my fingers. My dad said that I probably got this attitude from my mom (my dad’s the trusting one). Though my guarded personality does prevent me from getting screwed over left and right, he said that would have to learn to put my faith in at least one other person besides my immediate family, or I’d end up becoming a cranky old maid—thank goodness I listened to him hehe.

Other than Marc, I did learn to open up to a few more people. I don’t talk much about the details of my life story to everyone, only to a chosen few. Although I’m still generally guarded, I do put a bit more faith in people now than I did before.

But sometimes I wonder if I made a mistake doing that.

Like Dr. House, I don’t trust easily. But unfortunately, I don’t have House’s uncanny ability to immediately know when he’s being lied to.

I’ve had my share of lying (hmm… I guess that’s one of the reasons why I don’t trust easily), and I really thought I’ve seen it all. It turns out that my little white lies are nothing compared to the lies other people come up with when motivated by greed. I’ve learned it the hard way that when greed is paired up with the lure of money, a person’s moral compass can falter—and I do mean, really falter. A person who claims practicing honest business can actually turn on his or her partners—if and when the price is right. Even those who claim to be “watchdogs” or “protectors” of the people can also falter when the right amount is offered.

I will never pretend and tell you that I never lied. Because I have (heck, my friends even tease me about my knack for making up excuses and “extemporaneous lying”). But my lies have limits—I don’t think my conscience could take taking advantage of other people’s kindness or stealing from them.

I’ve been brought up to believe that whatever you sow, you reap. Sow lies and deceit, you reap lies and deceit. I guess that’s why sometimes it still shocks me that other people can lie without any regard for the repercussions of what they do. And yes, this shock is also one of the reasons why I don’t trust people easily.

I’ve lied and been lied to. I probably will always have this boundary around me that only a few people can cross—I’ll always be wary. But like any other person, I can make mistakes and put my trust on somebody who’d put a knife through me the moment my back is turned. When that happens, I always feel like an idiot for being so gullible. Wouldn’t you? But then again, we all learn from our mistakes. As Thomas Wayne in Batman Begins said, “why do we fall? We fall so can learn to pick ourselves up.” Or something like that.

I guess that’s one of those things about betraying a person who doesn’t trust easily—it’ll be hard to get back the trust once it’s broken. Little white lies are easy to pass, but when it comes to actually damaging somebody else—it doesn’t seem so easy to forget. I’d probably forgive somebody who did something like that to me, but I will always be looking over my back whenever that person is near me. Making a mistake is one thing, but making the same mistake twice is another.

It took me sometime to accept it, but each one of us just work with our own moral compass. Some will believe it’s ok to squander money from other people if the reason is valid, but there will always be those who will think it’s wrong no matter the rationale behind the act. Everybody will have a different opinion about everything, probably because each one of us is unique. What’s wrong for me might mean nothing with you.

But sometimes, you get lucky and meet somebody who will value integrity over greed the same way you do. When that happens, you cannot help but be glad to know that your ideals aren’t just ideas—they’re also possible. And that, I think, makes it worth letting other people cross my boundary line every now and then.