Honesty is the best policy

The Honest woodcutter

Now this picture brings me back. For those who don’t know, this is a depiction from the tale of the honest woodcutter. A very well written story with an excellent lesson of honesty behind it.

One of the bigger issues that I have seen that has been plaguing us as individuals especially since introduction of the internet, is that people are becoming increasingly dishonest. And with the introduction of social media it is becoming ever easier to lie about yourself and who you are over the internet. Now some might ask the question, “Why does this matter?” or even worse, “Why should I care?”. Understand that first, being honest does matter. And second, if you want to be able to grow as a person and as an individual and not be a “child” for the rest of your life, you need to care about being honest.

A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.”  Mark Twain

Now after spending some time being around people from all walks of life, one of the most common complaints I receive is how everybody ( In school, online, from that one business) is a “Fake Person”, someone who is not real or true about themselves. The “Fake person” is someone that is only interested in obtaining some kind of recognition for themselves by pretending to be someone or something that they are not. They do this for a multitude of reasons. One of the bigger reasons that I personally have observed is that they seem to think that they are not able to get any kind of recognition by just being themselves. This is easy to understand and almost relate to especially when you take a look at popular media.

Stop lying to yourself. When we deny our own truth, we deny our own potential.Steve Maraboli

One of the most popular media categories right now is the Action and Thriller genre, filled to the brim with superheros and incredible feats of heroism. Its easy to get caught up in these story’s and imagine ourselves in these kind of scenarios and situations; But after the show is over we turn and take a look back at ourselves and we see not a superhero, but an ordinary person with no special abilities that let us fly or have incredible strength. This is were the trap starts and its just a downward spiral from there. Now I am not blaming the movie industries for this phenomenon, but through using them as an example I believe it makes this idea more easy to relate too.

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you. Friedrich Nietzsche

So why does honesty matter? Now while outwardly it might appear to be okay to tell a little harmless lie every now and again, and for the most part you’d be correct. But its when we start going past a little lie every now and again to the point of where we are telling lies and stories all the time. We don’t want to get in trouble or get caught lying, so when we are confronted with telling a lie, we simply make up another lie, this time with a little more detail than before.

He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it the second time. Thomas Jefferson

Sometimes, for what ever reason, we stay in this dangerous and unhealthy spiral of lying and making up stories as we go along. Just as the old saying goes, ” Oh what a wicked web of lies we weave.” When you lie it doesn’t just hurt the people around us, it hurts the person lying to. And probably more so than it does the other person. Lying can hurt you Psychologically, Mentally, Emotionally and Spiritually. These lies can become so extreme that an interesting thing can happen, We start believing our own lies. It gets to the point were we are so full of lies that reality and fantasy can start to cross borders in our minds.

The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him.Fyodor Dostoevsky

When you are completely honest in all your dealings with other people, you will eventually begin to be completely honest with yourself and vise versa. Being completely honest with yourself is one of the most fundamental characteristics for self growth and self improvement, And without it you will never be fully able to develop as an individual.

“Honesty is the best policy, even if it puts you in a worse situation. Because it’s still better to be called Honest person than to be called a Liar.” Aaron Vanvoorhees

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