Essay by ruffpaloHigh School, 12th gradeA, July 2004

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"Be yourself!" "Be true to yourself!" These are phrases I have heard a million times. Growing up in a world that is rocked with scandals, scams and violence is reality. During my seventeen years, my life has been enriched from my education at home and at school, from learning experiences and from beliefs that molded my being.

I have chosen to live and abide by one simple value: honesty. The dictionary defines honesty as freedom from deceit or fraud; straightforwardness, truthfulness. I believe that "honesty means there are no contradictions or discrepancies in thoughts, words, or actions. To be honest to one's real self and task earns trust and inspires faith in others. Honesty is never to misuse that which is given in trust". Being honest with others is important, but more so, with yourself.

The issue of honesty has affected my life in more ways than one. As a teenager who has been through many petty quandaries, I have discovered that it is normal to make mistakes.

One occurrence that has left a vivid impression in me happened during the Homecoming dance in my junior year. I was invited to an after homecoming party at a friend's house which I decided to attend. A continuous stream of people came and as fun progressed, the party became too loud and out of hand. A complaint from one of the neighbors alerted the authorities. When the police arrived, many people were able to flee. The few unfortunate, including me, were left and stuck in this unpleasant situation. My first instinct was to hide, however, I decided to face the authorities, knowing that the consequences will be harsh. I had to face my parents and the punishment they will impose for my actions as a result of poor judgment. My family...