We all do things we’re not proud of.
Some things are worse than others. We might try to hide those things by lying, but it will probably blow up in our faces.
Redditor MyBrotherInPrison encountered this very issue with their family. So they turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for refusing to lie to my son about my brother going to prison?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My brother (20m) has been arrested for drug possession and attempting to smuggle it across the border. He took a plea deal and will be locked up for a few months.”
“My brother loves his nephew, my son who is around 12.”
“He told my son he would be going away for a while because he will be deployed overseas. I immediately called him out for it and said ‘no you are not, you got arrested and are going to prison’.”
“He pulled me aside and said ‘what are you doing, it’ll break his little heart knowing that I’m going to prison’ to which I said ‘I don’t care, you’re not going to lie to my son or commit stolen valor, you know how much that pisses me off as a veteran myself’.”
“My son asked me what happened and I told him the truth.”
“Many family members said I should’ve just went with it to save my brother the embarrassment. I don’t care, I’m not going to let him take credit for something he didn’t earn.”
“I’m posting this as a sanity check.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. Kids should know the flaws of the person they look up to.”
“Be it the father or in this case, uncle.”
“Otherwise the kids will put them on a pedestal so high and believe them to be flawless and when they eventually realize the hard truth, kids may resent the person they looked up to as well as others who lied about the truth.”
“But I do understand why the uncle might feel angry but it’s better that the kid knows.” ~ SwaggerEilte
“You know what will really break his heart? Having everyone lie to him, and believing that lie, only to find out the truth later.”
“That, to me, is unacceptable. I’m not damaging my relationship with my kid because someone else wants me to tell Grade-A porky pies to protect them.”
“No thanks, hard pass. He’s going to prison, and that’s exactly what I would tell a 12 year old.”
“NTA” ~ IChooseYouSnorlax
“Yeah, the fact that he was able to plea down to a very light sentence suggests it was not a serious smuggling operation, probably a small amount for personal use…which is dumb, but not immoral per se.” ~ Powersmith
Some Redditors gave a different kind of advice.
“If my brother was smuggling drugs, there’s NO WAY I’d allow him around my kids. OP is NTA in this situation, but he needs to think long and hard about allowing a felon around his kids.” ~ chickenfightyourmom
“Ehh. I’d need more context. I’ve worked with clients who got stuck with drug smuggling charges because they forgot they had a gram of marijuana in their backpack on a weekend trip to Canada.”
“Without knowing whether it was something like that, or a duffel bag full of black tar heroin IDK if it’s fair to pass judgment on that aspect. If he took a plea deal he’s probably not, in fact, a felon.”
“The thing that bothers me is that the brother pretended to be doing something admirable. Maybe if he said something like ‘I’m going on a long trip’ I could sort of see it (though honesty is almost always the best policy).”
“If you’re going to pretend to be something that you’re not, though, you deserve to have the truth called out loudly.” ~ Vilnius_Nastavnik
“That’s what struck me too. It’s one thing to be vague and kinda just mention that he’s not gonna be around a while.”
“But to make up this whole story were he’s actually doing something good seems completely unnecessary.” ~ tppisgameforme
Most sided with OP.
“Isn’t stolen valour something also taken very seriously? Like an actual felony?”
“Cause if so, why add one potential crime on another when the truth is harsh but simple?” ~ RedditKentiar
“I don’t think it’s a crime if you’re not like using it to commit tax fraud or whatever. I hope not at least, prison time for just pretending to be a soldier to someone seems quite excessive.” ~ tppisgameforme
“Using stolen valor for gain is illegal, but the 1st amendment protects you from being an a**hole and trying to pick up partners in bars with it.” ~ GodspeedandGoodnight
“Yea true. I thought it’d be able to warrant a fine or such, not prison time. I’m not too familiar with stolen valour, so just guessing from bits and pieces I’ve seen from stories of it being brought up.” ~ RedditKentiar
“Yeah, the trouble with the Uncle’s cover story is that he has to keep lying to maintain it. The worst is dragging the family into it so when the nephew does find out (and he will) his trust in everyone will be shattered because they all joined in the lie.” ~ JanuarySoCold
“Exactly, even if OP and the rest of the family did everything they could to maintain the lie, it wouldn’t be possible to hide it forever.”
“Elaborate lies like this always have cracks in them and the older the nephew gets, the more obvious these cracks will be to him. Especially if he grows up and joins the military himself.” ~ ActuallyFire
“It would be deliberately deceptive; but the brother always has the option of saying that he is going away ‘on a business trip’ without technically lying.”
“It’s just a matter of fact that…um…’regulatory arbitrage entrepreneurs’ sometimes end up having to take fairly extensive trips because of the nature of their work.” ~ fuzzyfuzzyfungus
Lies are never the best choice. And in the end, it’s this parent’s choice what to tell his son.