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Honesty is the best policy. Do you agree?

We have been taught the virtues like honesty, obedience, calm temperament and so on since our childhood. “Honesty is the best policy” was taught over and over again during our primary school years. However, what is "honesty" actually? Does it imply giving true replies to everyone who interrogates us? Does it imply we should work in good faith when we do something for ourselves and others?

Now,  after deciding what honesty is, can we be sure that it will be always good? Will honesty always result in positive consequences? How far should one go for the sake of honesty?  Can we be honest with everyone we know or should we choose whom to be honest with? These are the serious questions we need to analyze before preaching "honesty" as a virtue and deciding whether it is the best policy.


Honesty for oneself and one’s self-conscience is undoubtedly good. We can honestly evaluate where we made mistakes, and improve upon them. With honest attitude we become receptive to those matters which could be overlooked easily. For example, there is a difference between confidence and over-confidence. The confident is honest up to the mark, whereas overconfident is blinded by his ability, and self-pride. This kind of useful honesty is to be judged and maintained by oneself, and for one's sake.

But if it is someone else who is going to judge our honesty, then how can they judge if we are honest to ourselves or not. And why would they need to judge us. Why would it even be so important to be honest with other people, especially those whom we don't have to deal with regularly. We could make use of white lie with them, rather than being frank and honest, especially in cases when truth is bitter and unpleasant. After all, what is wrong with harmless lies?

Famous Greek Philosopher Socrates is known to be a wise person and a man of virtue. He never told a lie to anyone. He lost his life for the sake of his honesty. Now, is sacrificing our life to prove our honesty, like “Socrates” did, a good thing? Why do we need to prove our honesty to others, in the first place? Will people reward us for our honesty or imprison us for our dishonesty, especially in speech? Dishonesty without an ill-intention, I think, is still quite fine and in par with honesty from the perspective of a third person, because it doesn't matter at all, who spoke truth and who didn't.

Do you think we should be honest with someone who cannot be trusted? For instant, in many cases, when you honestly say something especially confess your misdeeds with your friends or kin, people make fun of you. Instead of respecting your honesty, they will curse you for your misdeeds most of the time. And most of the people will memorize this event of yours to belittle you for the rest of your life, especially in high context Asian culture, like that of India and Nepal.

Now is making mistake a crime? Certainly not, because you don't commit mistakes intentionally. But many people will treat you as if you had committed a crime. At such times, we strongly need an option to keep our matter to ourselves and not tell it to others.

Again, honesty is not always a virtue doesn't mean it is a vice either. It depends upon the contextual matters. In the end, I think whether to tell the truth or lie depends upon one's personal preference or situation. Making it a virtue and preaching it without taking the context into consideration is simply wrong.

Honesty, in short, is necessary in our deeds or actions and it is necessary for ourselves, to better understand ourselves. However, a generalization that 'honesty is the best policy' is probably outdated and seriously misses the point, especially when it is told without much thought.

Comments

  1. this essay is your prediction for october?

    And to be frank..your topics are so interesting and useful

    ReplyDelete

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