I have a hard time finding a more important characteristic to teach a child than honesty. Not being an honest person (internally and externally) sets one up for failure in life. But what did Shakespeare say about this quality in a human being? “If thou be honest and fair your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty.” (Hamlet). Honesty and beauty go hand in hand. Over and again in Shakespeare’s writings honesty is cherished. In tragedy, as well as comedy, Shakespeare emphasizes the importance of honesty. Touchstone, in As You Like It, offers this wisdom “Rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a poor house.” Honesty is wealth and should be guarded in “unfriendly” territory! Honesty is a gift, as Katherine says “A beard, fair health and honesty. With three fold love I wish you all these three” (Love’s Labors Lost). And so that is my wish for you…fair health and honesty, with or without the beard!
TIME TO PLAY: Play a theatre game! “Two Truths, One lie”. This game is played with 2 or more people. One player tells the others two things that are true about himself and one thing that is untrue. The others have to guess which statement is the lie. Statements might be something like “My favorite color is blue. I own two cats. I have a scar on my leg.” If you are playing this with people who know you well, try picking another subject, like an historical event. Give two things that are true about the event and one thing that is a lie. If you play with younger kids, provide them with statements about a subject they are studying or a book they have read. Let them guess which is the lie!