JS Tip 139: From the Ethics Workshops: The Honesty of Confidence

Something to think about.

David Casstevens of The Dallas Morning News tells the story of Frank Szymanski, a Notre Dame football player in the 1940s, who had been called as a witness in a civil suit in South Bend:

“Are you on the Notre Dame football team this year?” the judge asked.

“Yes, Your Honor.”

“What position?”

“Center, Your Honor.”

“How good a center?”

Szymanski squirmed in his seat, but said firmly: “Sir, I’m the best center Notre Dame has ever had.”

Coach Frank Leahy, who was in the courtroom, was surprised. Szymanski always had been modest and unassuming. So when the court adjourned, he took Szymanski aside and asked him why he had made such a statement.

Szymanski blushed. “I hated to do it, Coach,” he said, “but I was under oath.”

Now. Think about this.

Confidence breeds honesty. Confidence in self, in behavior, in accomplishments. And, conversely, lack of confidence breeds dishonesty.

Next week: The difference between “in to” and “into.” (“What? There’s a difference?”)