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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Honesty Pays

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Honesty Pays... But at What Cost?

Are you ready for this? I kid you not… there’s a new reality/game show that hit the 2008 line-up earlier this year that I’m predicting will be a huge success, if nobody gets killed!

This cleverly crafted show actually rewards contestants on their degree of honesty with some pretty provocative questions.  Talk about being in the “hot seat!”

Here’s the deal.


 Earlier this year, Fox launched a program called “THE MOMENT OF TRUTH.”

It works like this... Contestants are given about 51 questions that they have to give responses to while monitored by a lie detector to gauge the truthfulness of their answers.  Depending on their degree of veracity, they can earn big bucks! 

For example, for answering 15 questions honestly, they can earn $100,000.00.  The pay goes up to a half a million dollars with varying levels.

Sound simple?  Not as much as you would think.  Last night while watching it, I was even uncomfortable with some of the questions, and they didn’t even apply to me.

Here’s a recap from last night’s show.

A young lady named “Lauren” was asked by her ex-boyfriend if he wanted her back, would she leave her husband.  Although she squirmed in her seat and hesitated a moment, she responded, ‘I’d have to say yes.” 

I thought I’d fall out my bed!

Next question…”Have you ever slept with another man while married to your husband?” Guess what?  She answered that one with a resounding yes too! 

I saw the anguish in her hubby’s eyes as he sat among the panel members in the audience.   (And he was so cute.)  My heart went out to him. And get this…she ended up losing the 100,000 when asked if she felt she was a good person!  The chick said, “yes”, while the lie detector determined that this response was false.  Go figure.

I don’t know what her financial goals were, or her motivation for being on the show, but she should have taken “the fifth” on at least 3 of those questions; you best believe. 

I’d love to be a fly on the wall when they arrive home after the show.  There’s gonna’ be some real fireworks!  And I don’t mean ones of passion.

But on a serious note folks…

I have always believed that honesty is indeed the best policy.  But, I also believe that to be of best benefit, it should be tempered with good judgment, good will, and a good degree of common sense. 

Wouldn’t you agree?

Not to mention, timing is everything. It should also be appropriate. I’ve had people that were almost strangers give me their “honest opinions” on things from my clothes, to my cooking, to my home, and other areas that they need not have ventured.  In other words, your relationship with others should be considered as well. 

And also to be taken into consideration… will your candid comments be appreciated or fall on deaf ears?

I remember once while at a “girl’s night” party with my friends, a similar theme surfaced.  The topic was

"If you knew your friend’s man was cheating, would you tell?  And also, if yours was cheating, would you want to know?"

I must admit that it stimulated some very interesting dialogue over the evening, between the tea and cookies.

Much to my surprise, several of my friends stated that they adhere to the policy, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”  
To break it down in a nutshell... Not only would they not tell a friend if her beau was being bad, they wouldn’t want someone to deliver the bad news to them either.  Ignorance is bliss, they contended.

I took the opposite position.  Tell me. Pray for him.  In that order. Of course, I hope it never comes to that.  But I wouldn’t want to waste my time on a lover who’s a louse and a cheater.  I feel I deserve better.  The sooner I know, the sooner the healing process can begin, and I can move on.  Period. 

I should also state that there’s a proper way to do everything. For instance, God forbid, but I wouldn’t want to be told in public--.or on my birthday-- or our anniversary. Get what I mean? And please don’t deliver the bad news while I’m near any sharp objects or hot grits. Or somebody’s liable to get hurt…TRUTHFULLY! :-)


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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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