Bill Clinton committed perjury while he was president. This year’s Super Bowl darling, Ray Lewis, once pleaded guilty to “obstruction of justice” in a double murder case, after repeatedly lying to police. Lance Armstrong perjured himself multiply, then sued all the people who said he was lying. Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez. James Frey. For trusted newspapers and magazines, Jayson Blair, Janet Cook, Stephen Glass and Jonah Lehrer made up their stories. Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o just admitted he lied about a fictitious dead girlfriend. Martha Stewart. Bernie Madoff. Richard Nixon. Kenneth Lay. John Edwards.
You on the other hand live a quiet, if hectic, life–trying to pay your bills on time, to call an old friend, to read a book you’ve been meaning to. You honor fidelity and commitments as best you can. You try to tell the truth, unless it might hurt someone’s feelings. Then you fudge it a little. You have never been on the cover of Time (well, once). Or in the Super Bowl. You’ve not won the Tour de France nor nabbed a seven-figure advance on your book about joining the circus. You’ve been inside the Capitol, but only on the tour. The boardroom? Nope, not your bailiwick–same old faces all the time. But you’ve been in the classroom, the ocean, the garden, the supermarket. The library, the hospital, the closet, the dumps. Let’s hear more about you, we say. In general, let’s all agree to do that. Send us the names of people you admire; we’ll do 2paragraphs biographies of them. Send us stories of people you know doing interesting things; we’ll publish them. Send us your take on things for our Personal Stories section. And, please, tell the truth.