February 26

Today's quotation:

We must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.

George Bernard Shaw

Today's Meditation:

I would truly like to think that most people want to be honest most of the time, but the evidence that I see day after day tells me that that may not be true.  What that means to me is not that I should despair, but that I should do my best to make sure that in my own piece of the world, I should be as honest as I possibly can in order to at least let the people around me know that they can trust me, and to hopefully influence some young people to be as honest as they can be.

I don't believe that honesty means complete truth 100% of the time.  I've said that food is good when I haven't really liked it, and I'm fine with that, partly because I know that the fact that I don't like it doesn't mean it's not good.  And if someone is demanding information from me who is just going to use that information to hurt someone else, I'm more than willing to say "I don't know," even if I do know.

Honesty, I believe, is being true to ourselves and the other people in our worlds.  It's keeping our word when we make promises, and it's being consistent enough that other people can trust us when we tell them something.  It's following just laws and taking responsibility for mistakes, and then doing our best to fix them.  Is it relative?  Probably, but I don't know enough to say for sure.

Of course, one of Shaw's most important points is that we must be honest and model honesty before we can ever tell children that they should be honest.  And in our world of today, especially concerning politics, this can be an extremely difficult proposition to fulfill.  But we must try if our children are to have any chance of building a better, more honest, more ethical world.

Questions to consider:

Why does honesty seem to be such a difficult concept for many people to comprehend?

How can we be sure that we're honest in all of our dealings?

Is honesty relative?  Is complete honesty always desirable?

For further thought:

The first step toward greatness is to be honest, says the proverb; but the proverb fails to state the case strong enough.  Honesty is not only "the first step toward greatness," --it is greatness itself.

Christian Nestell Bovee

more on honesty



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