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Honesty

  • "The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity. "
  • ~ Andre Gide, French writer, 1869 – 1951
  • "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. "
  • ~ Mahatma Gandhi, Indian nationalist, 1869 – 1948
  • "The first virtue of all really great men is that they are sincere. They eradicate hypocrisy from their hearts. "
  • ~ Anatole France, French novelist, 1844 – 1924

Insane World

Honesty is, in theory, universally regarded as an important virtue, but is generally practiced only sporadically. Within certain professions, such as politics or the law, blatant dishonesty is so fundamental as to be taken for granted. In business, especially in consumer advertising, exaggeration and hyperbole are everyday facts of life. Throughout society, the desire to create the most favorable impression, or to promote a product, an idea, or a person, has created a cultural acceptance of “spinning” the truth that is so prevalent, it often goes unnoticed.

Living Sanely

Honesty is the primary moral virtue, from which other virtues flow. The principle rule in dealing with adults is mutual consent, and the combination of mutual consent and honesty eliminates the two primary types of unethical action: force and fraud.

Honesty is often inconvenient and forces us to take a more difficult path, but, in the long run, the more difficult path is often the one that leads us in the most fulfilling direction. In other words, the quickest way to end up doing what you really should be doing is to be as honest as possible in all important matters. Being honest with yourself and others will often lead to temporary setbacks, or even to acknowledging occasional failure, but it will force you to make what are, in the long run, the best choices.

Caution: Honesty in the important intercourse of life is critical, but trivial matters may be better governed by rules of courtesy.

Focus

By being honest with yourself and others, you do the right thing, and also what is ultimately in your best interests.

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