Keeping Quiet

I was doing some moral thinking, and a question that I’ve had for a while popped into my head: is it wrong to choose not to tell someone something to protect them?

I believe that withholding information is a form of lying, because even though a person isn’t saying anything, they’re allowing a misconception to be accepted rather than correcting it. But if revealing the information saves someone a lot of trouble and doesn’t have other direct negative effects, is that wrong?

For example, a couple of months ago, I took a trip alone to meet up with some internet friends of mine in LA, and I was to get off at the bus station and wait for one of my friends to come with their car and pick me up. My mom was worried that if I walked to where I’d be meeting up with them, I’d be going through a bad neighborhood, possibly putting myself into a bad situation. What ended up happening was that two of my friends picked me up at the station, and we all walked to where we were going, which would worry my mom if she knew. It had completely slipped my mind at the time, and it was only after that I’d realized that we had walked instead of taking the car, and my dad suggested I not tell my mom so as to not make her uncomfortable.

I feel like if this kind of thing is wrong, then there’s a good way to go about it that keeps everybody better off, but I can’t think of what the best alternative would be. In my case, if I had just mentioned to my mom that we had walked, she would be worried, despite the fact that everything ended up okay. So what is the best course of action in these situations?

When my son was in the Navy he learned Deep Sea Diving but he never told me about it cause he knew I would worry, That’s a BIG ocean out there!! After he got out of service he showed me some pictures of his dives. Later he taught deep sea diving for many years. His son is now following his example. I am proud of them both and glad my son saved me years of worry till he could show me in person what he was doing. I have even been on his ship or boat (whichever you call it.) God Bless, Memaw

To tell the truth.

No, really.

I say this after thinking about a different situation where many thought it would be better to lie: “What if you just converted to Catholicism, but your parents hated that religion. Would you lie to them about where you are going (Church) just so they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable or just to maintain home harmony?”

Many thought, in this case, telling a half-lie (“I’m going out with some friends”) or not saying anything was better. Sure, we want to maintain harmony, and we want to stimulate young people into attending Church. But telling them its ok to lie? What if they were kidnapped on the way of the Church, how would those catholic-hating parents deal with it, not even knowing where their kids were?

Telling the truth, despite its bad side effects (angry wives, worried parents, disappointed kids), is always the best course of action.

Tell your mom. This way she’ll know you better, and know what sort of decisions you make. If she’s like my mom, she’ll keep on calling you to know if you are still ok. It’s better that she can worry about you, it’s her way of protecting you. If you remove from her that option, imagine how she’d feel if something happened without her knowing.

Unless you are ten, I don’t see why you would disclose everything to your mom.

She expressed a concern. You made a decision. No big deal.

You’ve asked your Dad he told you not to concern your Mom. I agree. You don’t tell people about things that will cause them more stress just to make you feel better.

You can’t tell everyone everything, so you are constantly “not-telling.” You have to pick and choose what to tell. Not telling your mother that you walked with your friends to the car used to pick you up is like not telling her what condiments you put on your hamburger.

She wasn’t lying to her mom or even half lying. There is NO commandment saying you must tell everyone everything. She didn’t “plan” on walking and she didn’t walk alone so no big deal. God Bless, Memaw

I’m 18, and I was going a relatively far distance, which I almost never do. I pretty much always stay at home, so being out in the open miles away on my own is new for me, and this kind of situation can freak my mom out; I haven’t said anything, lie or half-lie, to my mom. Bringing it up a couple of months after it happened would be weird, so I think I’ll mention it if there’s ever a good time to bring it up. And if she for any reason asks about it, then that’s even better and I can just tell her.

(Also, for the record, I’m a guy. :o)

My 18 year old son drove 2,000 miles across country when he was 18 and I just prayed him all the way! God Bless, Memaw

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