Honesty Is The Best Policy

Honesty Is The Best Policy

I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an ‘honest man.’” – George Washington

When I think of honesty, very often the fable about George Washington chopping down his father’s cherry tree comes into my mind. When asked about it, he cried, “I cannot tell a lie, father, you know I cannot tell a lie! I did cut it with my little hatchet.

The anger died out of his father’s face, and taking the boy tenderly in his arms, he said, “My son, that you should not be afraid to tell the truth is more to me than a thousand trees!…

However, there is no evidence that this ever occurred. This was part of a book of mythic stories authored by Mason Weems that made Washington a legendary figure beyond his wartime and presidential achievements.

I believe that most of us have lied in one way or another. In fact according to Dr. Gail Saltz, she believes that everybody lies. It may only be “white” lies, but everyone tells lies or “omits the truth” sometimes. Why do people lie? Dr. Gail said, “They lie to protect themselves, look good, gain financially or socially and avoid punishment.” Of course these are not the only reasons.

Whatever the reasons behind the lie, could one ever justify a lie that he/she made? Maybe it would be more acceptable when it was a “white” lie. Then again, “how can we make sure that people don’t abuse the uses of “white” lie?”

University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert Feldman said, “Anything that is not accurate is a lie. You can argue that a lie done to make someone else feel better is relatively minor. But they have an effect. The bottom line is that a lie is a lie.

Although he did mention that it is socially useful to tell lies, I believe that in the end we always have the power to choose to tell the truth. As what Mark Twain said, “I can lie, but I won’t.” I hope that I will be strong to choose the truth at all time.

I have always reminded myself that lie is like a thrown boomerang, it will fly back to you … eventually. However, if I choose to speak the truth always, I don’t have to remember anything; I don’t have to worry about the snowballing effect that comes with continuous lying.

Randy Pausch author of The Last Lecture said, “Most people who have told a lie think they got away with it … when in fact, they didn’t.One could have lied and fooled the whole world, but when one faced the mirror, one couldn’t lie or fool the one within. So I believe that Honesty is the best policy. Do you?

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15 thoughts on “Honesty Is The Best Policy

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Tina, there is no way one can get away from oneself. The whole world may not know about the lie, but when one is alone in his/her room, can he/she face himself/herself. Regardless of whether it is someone we loved, friends, acquaintances or stranger, we must always refrain from lying even if we could get away with it. The integrity of a person is what he/she does when no one is looking.

  1. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ liferamblings, I am more at ease and comfortable when I am telling the truth too.

    @ Jade, yes, it is hard to be a liar and even harder to try to guide the lie after it was told. The alternative; tell the truth sincerely and honestly and we do not have to worry about anything. I had witnessed how one lie evolved into the next, just to cover the first. And eventually when the lies were exposed, the situation became much worst. I have come to believe that “Honesty is the best policy.

  2. Vanessa

    lol…what a coincidence!!! I wrote about Credibility and yours is Honesty!!!

    I read and drop on you, but dont comment much as I sometimes dont know what to write nor express myself well!!!

    Good day!
    .-= Vanessa´s last blog ..Credibility!! =-.

  3. Dorothy Stahlnecker

    Today is does seem like a lot of people lie especially our politicians and therefore our kids are learning even when you get caught you often get reelected. I have a lot of people who don’t like my abrupt straight forwardness and most of the time I care less.

    Thus yes I agree and hold strong with throwing it on the table and letting it all out…

    Dorothy from grammology
    .-= Dorothy Stahlnecker´s last blog ..Teach your children well =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Dorothy, I am very much like you; I like frankness in people although at time I can be tactful because I do care most of the time. However, in so speaking, I may keep my mouth shut or speak the truth.

      @ Vanessa, it is indeed a coincidence. Credibility is as important as honesty and in fact they are directly related. One who is honest is credible and one who is credible should always be honest.

  4. turisuna

    Tell a lie not only makes you feel guilty, but also exhausted. If at the first time you have told a lie, then big possibility you will lie again in the future, it will feel tired if you have to make false story over and over. So better just tell the truth and finish the problem.
    .-= turisuna´s last blog ..His question about you =-.

  5. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Turisuna, yes, it is much better to tell the truth and get over with it then for the lie to come back to haunt you later. Usually a lie when told will lead to more lies to be told to cover up for the initial ones; it’s a never ending process.

  6. Kilauea Poetry

    Ya, I think one ought to shoot for the truth- no matter what. I figure you get pretty good at telling the truth just like those who get good at lying! Besides, I prefer it..it’s more like a language? Nice post-
    .-= Kilauea Poetry´s last blog .."Fifth Avenue" =-.