2018 – 3rd Grade National 2nd Place Winner
Adelaide Spear, Pennsylvania.
Deceit in the Serivce of Truth
Truth is good, and in the end, truth will triumph. But sometimes deceit can be good too. It is not always bad. It may seem strange, but sometimes deceit can serve truth. Sometimes lying can save someone’s life, or help them escape and injustice. Honesty is usually good. But there is a way to be too honest. If somebody went around telling things that are indeed true but supposed to be kept secret for the good of another, they would be too honest, and they could have a harmful effect. So deceit and honesty can both serve truth or they can both be harmful, and when they are harmful, people will join together to fight against them. Truth will ultimately have the greater impact on society.
What if the people working along the Underground Railroad did not lie about sneaking slaves across America? The people working in the Underground Railroad would be arrested and slaves would be brought back to their owners and beaten. But since the abolitionists were willing to lie on behalf of the escaping slaves, they were able to free oppressed African Americans and aid the fight for justice. Consider the story of Henry “Box” Brown. He was a slave in Virginia. If his free friend James Smith and some white abolitionists hadn’t been willing to lie to help him, he never would have escaped and found the freedom due, in truth, to every human.
What if Corrie ten Boom went around saying: “Hey Nazis! I’m hiding Jews in my house!” She would be imprisoned and those Jews would be carted off to concentration camps. She was a Dutch Christian during World War II, and because she was willing to lie to fight for Truth, she was able to save many people. She hid Jews in her home, in a concealed room that no one knew about but her family (and the Jews hiding there). In fact, it was so well concealed that when Nazis did discover that she was hiding Jews, all but one of them still managed to escape. Many other people also lied to help some Jewish people avoid the horrors of the concentration camps.
On the surface, something may look like deceit, when in reality, it brings more truth into the world. Sometimes the “facts” of a situation, while true on the surface, actually work to serve falsehood. It is a fact that slavery was legal in America, and it is a fact that the Nazis made laws the persecuted Jews and led to the slaughter of millions. But those facts were not rooted in truth. Henry “Box” Brown and Corrie ten Boom made choices that involved a thin layer of deceit but really served the truth. Both slavery and the Nazi regime were eventually overthrown. Ultimately, truth has a greater impact on society.
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