Tuesday, June 27, 2006

truth & integrity

I was flicking through the Britain YM book of Quaker Faith & Practice and going through some old handouts last night looking for useful quotes for a Children's Meeting session. We were looking for examples of speaking truth to power and using integrity and it led to quite a long conversation which we came back round to a few times over the evening.

Earlier in the day I'd been put on the spot with regard my own truth and integrity. I was filling in a form for the Inland Revenue in Britain which will hopefully result in a tax refund before too long. Two of the questions I really struggled to answer. In the end I put what I knew I had to with regard to my current visa rather than what I would like to - 'do you intend to return to live in the UK, if yes what date? So with a heavy heart I ticked 'yes' and put October 2007 which is what I'd originally told the immigration people here.

They didn't have an 'only if I have to' box and 'when the money runs out' didn't fit their nice little DD/MM/YYYY boxes either.

Was I telling the truth?

Well sort of. As yet I don't have the means to do other than what I said on the form, and being the Inland Revenue they want definite answers not wish lists. I'm not deliberately trying to mislead them and as far as I know it doesn't defraud them in any way or set things up to my better advantage - I just have to remember to write to tell them I guess if I get to extend my stay. 'Dear Inland Revenue, Having a lovely time here, not coming back. lots of love Anna xxx' Hmmm....

But it felt like lying. It felt like lying at such a deep seated level that in a way was reassuring. There simply wasn't room for any doubt that the box I should have been ticking was not necessarily 'No' but more 'Not for the foreseeable future' at least.

1 comment:

Sebastian said...

Ooh, thou poor thing!