Over the next few blogs on our spiritual conference website, we will be exploring what it means to be human. In this blog, we will dive into what honesty is, and why it is an important value for all of humanity to share.
Since you were a young child, it’s very likely that you were told to be honest. For a child, this means to not cheat at playground games and to tell your parents the truth when you got a bad grade. As an adult, this concept is more complicated. Ben Franklin said, “Honesty is the best policy.” We know that it is best to be honest, but is this because that’s what we were taught as children? Why is honesty an important value to hold onto as we grow from children to adults? And what exactly is honesty?
What does it mean to be honest?
To be honest is to embody moral characteristics such as truthfulness, integrity, and transparency. It means that you don’t steal, lie, or cheat. It means that you are sincere, trustworthy, and fair. It means you are straightforward, and only speak to what you know to be true.
Benefits of honesty
Honesty benefits us because it makes us more human. When we are honest with ourselves and others, we create an authentic life and truly connect with other people. Honesty requires courage, so it makes us braver. Honesty requires trust in others, so it makes us more loving. Honesty sets us free, so it makes us more light-hearted. Additionally, honesty makes things simpler. When you are honest, you don’t have to keep your lies straight in your head; you can simply speak without fear of saying the wrong answer. When we are honest, we can live simple, connected lives. Honesty improves the quality of our characters, our lives, and our relationships with others and the earth. It keeps our connection to each other pure and unmarred with lies.
How to be honest
When making the conscious decision to be more honest, you must first reflect on yourself. Who do you lie to? When do you lie? What types of lies do you tell? Maybe you have a tendency to embellish your accomplishments to your peers. Explore within yourself why you do this. Perhaps you feel inadequate or insecure when compared to everyone else. As humans, we often silently compete with the people around us, wishing to be the smartest or most beautiful or successful. Yet this competition never ends, so we never get any satisfaction. The continual disappointment that comes with never being good enough beats us down over time, and makes it more and more difficult to connect with others around us.
Now that you have considered who you lie to, when you lie, and what types of lies you tell, you are prepared to face that person or situation with a fresh perspective. If it is the situation we outlined above where you feel like you are constantly comparing yourself to others and that is why you must lie, you can check that behavior. Next time you feel like you . For another example, if you are hiding a behavior, such as smoking, you can choose to be honest about it. If you feel you can’t be honest about it, then it’s best not to do it. It’s easier to be honest when you can feel proud of your actions, so focus on doing things that make you happy with the person who you are. Consider what you don’t like about yourself, and take steps to change these things. When we are happy with ourselves, we don’t need to lie, because the reality is good enough.
Continue with our series, “What Makes Us Human,” with our spiritual conference’s next blog, “What Makes Us Human: Love,” coming soon.