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Our Youth . . . with Bernadette Angeles: Developmental Asset No. 29 — Honesty

Published in the May 10 – 23, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

Bernadette Angeles

Honesty is something we hear everyday. From growing up as a naive child to becoming a full-time adult, we are set on the fact that honesty is important above all else. Yet understanding why it is important takes more than just an explanation, it takes experience. My experiences with honesty have always been with my family, mainly with my sister.

Growing up, I have always had a strong connection with my younger sister, Annette. Our relationship strengthened as we bonded over talking about problems at school and playing board games on the weekends.

I suppose being close in age was a main factor of our bonding. Yet as we got older, I began to realize how we neglected our youngest sister, Violette. I would choose to talk to Annette about my day or I asked Annette if she wanted to play a game rather than all of us play together. It came to a point where Annette and I completely isolated ourselves from Violette. As the older sibling, I knew we were doing something wrong and that this had to change. Yet no matter how close I was with Annette, being honest was not always so easy.

I knew that bringing up the favoritism issue would be difficult and that she would not pay attention so easily. I did not want to pick a fight with the person I was closest to. Fighting would take time and effort in order to end. I constantly feared that I would only make the problem worse. Although my fear of us fighting was high, my conviction in solving the issue was higher. Nothing would change unless I did something about it. Eventually, I chose to confront them and be honest with how I was feeling.

I had to acknowledge there was something wrong. I explained to them that family means we stick together. We needed to have each other’s backs and bond over the silliest of things. It is inevitable we are going to fight over something stupid but we should never let that tear us apart. At first, it sounds like simply acknowledging the problem will allow it to magically disappear. The bickering did not end there.

To this day, Annette and Violette are prone to arguing over something as dumb as who left the TV on or who left her dishes on the table. Yet it has rarely surpassed to anything serious and we have learned to stick together. Siblings are always going to fight but we must always be honest with each other and work through it together. This can applied to all relationships we face in life.

It is important to face problems head on and confront them to the best of our ability. Not confronting my sisters would not have solved the problem we had. It would have only manifested into a larger issue. By trying to address the issue and communicate my concerns, we were able to acknowledge the problem, work through it together, and strengthen our bond.

Although being honest is the best way in resolving conflict, it is not always the case. Some people choose to hold grudges and ignore confrontation. Although this is the easy way out, it is not beneficial to their growth and knowledge for future problems. Holding back will only lead to regret and unresolved anger.

Growing up, I have learned this lesson. Being a shy person my entire life, confrontation was always my biggest fear. Yet no matter how many times I say it will never be easy, I learn that confrontation is the only way to get results. It allows a person to find solutions and learn from their experiences. Through my own experiences, I have learned that being honest is important because it will not only lead to future growth as a problem solver but also as a person.

Bernadette Angeles is a 16-year-old junior at Presentation High School in San Jose. In her spare time she enjoys writing, reading and hiking.