Up to the age of 11, I attended a Primary School following the ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) curriculum. Within each workbook were a series of comic strips teaching Godly and ethical principles. Whilst working through one of my ACE workbooks, one male character featured in it, named Pudge (not the kindest name, now I think about it, especially because he was really chubby too!), had a conversation which went like this:
‘Oh wow! I’ve just come from outside and it’s freeeezzzing!’
Christi replies: ‘Don’t say that! Exaggeration is a sin.’
*My mouth drops* Huh?! Really?! A sin?! But everybody exaggerates!
Pudge’s mouth drops too. Then he bows his head in apology and corrects himself with, ‘You’re right, Christi. I’m cold, not freezing.’
LOL, right? Like, is that for real or what?!
But do you know what, as ridiculous as that short conversation was, that comic strip made me seriously think about every exaggeration I spoke going forwards.
It’s crazy-ish, but the profundity of that strip has stuck with me ever since. This was almost two decades ago – oh my goodness! Saying numerous decades makes me feel pretty old – and yet I can even recall the pictures and how my face mirrored Pudge’s. What do you mean exaggeration is a sin? I thought. Because it’s like lying, the comic explained.
And as silly and trivial as an exaggeration may sound, as funny as it may be or as much as you want to dramatize your point, sometimes it really isn’t worth it. If it’s real life, be real.
It’s probably why I really dislike hearing people say they’re ‘depressed’ when they’re really just ‘sad’ or feeling low.
It’s probably why I really dislike hearing people massively exaggerate their stories to the point of lying.
It makes me think, if you can exaggerate this much over seemingly insignificant matters, then what else are you telling me that is totally untrue?
And so with this whole #traingate fiasco (read about it here) between Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn vs Richard Branson of Virgin Trains I can’t help but think all this embarrassing awkwardness and bashing could have been avoided if Jeremy too had read that ACE workbook…