A 16 Guidelines view on
Honesty is an opportunity to move through the world gracefully without harming other people. To speak or act dishonestly is to put our own interests ahead of someone else’s. To distort what they experience to fit our needs, or to take their possessions for ourselves. This is why dishonesty causes such disappointment and pain. Whereas to be honest is to cherish the needs and wishes of someone else. It is a statement that we care about another person’s welfare.
Honesty is a personal choice that arises every time that human beings connect with one another. Each individual has the opportunity to be straightforward and honest in their dealings with other people, regardless of their health, family situation, possessions or resources. In doing so, they help to create a culture of honesty for everyone.
Imagine a world where everyone plays fair, acts justly, and keeps their financial affairs simple and straightforward. Even the thought can make us soften and smile. It may take an enormous amount of courage and inner strength to bring this about, but why not get going right now? Honesty starts with each one of us.
To act with transparency and fairness
A reflection on
The benefits of
help us keep our conscience clear and our self-respect intact
build fair, open and trusting relationships with each other
promote a culture of seeking the common good instead of pursuing personal self-interest
Did you know?
Studies at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the University of California at Berkeley have shown that brain areas behind the forehead - the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex - become more active when a participant decides to lie or to be honest. This brain region is known to be critically involved in cognitive control and hence they conclude that the decision involves a negotiation between self-image and self-interest.
‘Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.’
‘There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.’