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Why do your parents care about your underwear? Nobody sees your underwear, and yet parents always tell kids to wear clean underwear. What gives?
If you ever ask your parents this question, they will give you answer #I: "Dirty underwear is full of germs, and we don't want those germs jumping off your underwear and onto you."
If you tell your folks that you can wear underwear for a month before it gets really dirty, they will give you answer #2. This answer is so goofy that lots of kids just fall down laughing when they first hear it, but it's one of the most famous answers on The List:
"You should always wear clean underwear because if you ever get into an accident on the way to school or on the way home from school and an ambulance has to take you to the hospital and the doctors in the emergency room have to take your pants off, if they see that you're wearing dirty underwear then they'll think that we're bad parents because we don't wash your underwear."
I don't know how these answers got started. Like most things on The List, they seem to have been around forever. I never heard of people getting sick from wearing dirty underwear. Maybe you could get sick from wearing somebody else's dirty underwear, but I just don't think you could get that sick from wearing your own. And I never ever heard of doctors in any emergency room saying, "Well, we'd like to help this kid, but we just can'the's wearing dirty underwear."
So, there must be some big deep reason hiding behind whyyour folks care so much about clean underwear. I think I figured it out the big reason for wearing clean underwearis to teach you this:
What people don't see about you should be just as good as what people do see about you.
We all try to look good outside. The hard part is to look good inside.
If you pretend to be somebody's friend but say bad things about him or her to other people, then it's a lot like wearing dirty underwear. If you look at your own test when the teacher is looking at you but as soon as the teacher leaves the room look at your neighbor's test, then you're wearing dirty underwear. If you act nice to your brothers or sisters when your parents are around but hit them and make them miserable when your parents are gone, then you're wearing dirty underwear.
The hardest thing in life is to be the same way deep down as you are on top. If you're always pretending to be something you aren't, if you never say what you mean, if you never do what you say, then you'll be unhappy, and people will stay away from you because they don't want to have a friend who is clean only on the outside.
Of course, nobody's perfect. One of the differences between good people and bad people is that good people don't try to hide their bad parts. They admit their bad parts and try to make their bad parts smaller. They take their bad parts to the laundry so that when they go out into the world, their insides and their outsides will both be clean.
And you know what? Wearing clean underwear isn't so bad after all. Once you get used to the feeling of being the same on the inside as you are on the outside, you won't want to lie about anything anymore. Once you get used to really being nice to people and not just acting nice to people, you'll get used to the feeling of having real friends. And once you get used to the feeling of soft clean underwear next to your skin, you won't want to go scrounging around under the bed looking for the cootie-coated underwear you wore last Tuesday!