IMPORTANCE OF HONESTY IN LIFE
What is Honesty:
What is honesty and why should you practice honesty, are the two most important questions come in the mind of almost every individual in their life time. Some people experience it in early years and others remain ignorant for most part of their lives and realize at an advanced age. Everyone must make efforts to find suitable answers to these questions and act accordingly.
I too had to confront with these questions during my school days and sought to find answers to these questions.
Honesty is defined as truthfulness in our spoken words and actions. Our teachers, parents and grand parents were right when they taught us during our childhood years that, “Honesty is the best policy.” This thought was fixed in our subconscious mind during early childhood years as every parents want good habits in their ward. But now after growing up when we practically look into this world and try to find the truth, we see that in this world majority of people seem to be practicing dishonesty and half truth. It seems people, at large, have converted this world to a market place and practicing honesty has become a real challenge. Lying for petty small things has become a normal practice.
Are you an honest person?
Almost every one of us claims to be totally honest. But we only know level of our honesty.
Possibly you would also have told several lies and half truths during your growing years from your childhood to adulthood and continue to practice the same till date.
Dishonest people do not have faith in their abilities. Their subconscious mind has accepted the fact that they are not worthy enough and they do not deserve to get all those positive things of life, without lying and cheating. And with every passing day their habit of lying and practicing dishonesty in life gets strengthened and they become perfect liars.
In case you also belong to the same category of people, it ascertains that you have a habit to pretend yourself to be someone else, what you are not. You refuse to identify your authentic self. Such people lack clarity in their lives and lack true direction and their goals of life.
When you tell a lie, you show your true colors and tell this world that how self centered you are? It also depicts your weakness and feeling of insecurity.
The fact of life is that no person in this world is absolutely honest and absolutely dishonesty. Therefore none of us is perfect example of an honest person; still we have a habit of continuously accusing another person of being dishonest. It is the human being who can be honest and also he can be dishonest.
An act of lying brings a chain of lies:
There is an Indian maxim that says, “Lies do not have feet.” That means no existence for lies. You will have to make efforts to forcefully move them. And in order to make it move, you will have to spin another lie and a chain reaction is initiated with more and more lies are required to be coined to cover up the first lie. And your entire concentration and energy are directed towards covering your lies. People at large do not have a perfect memory to make a successful liar.
Telling lies is an easy task but there is a risk associated with it that you have to remember answers to these five questions. These are what you said, why you said, when you said, whom you said and where you said. If you forget to tell correct answers to these questions, you have fair chances of getting caught.
Effect of lies on your life:
Telling a lie is very easy. It takes only few seconds to utter a lie. Sometimes, you have not to even think before speaking it. However it may take years and even entire life while correcting a mistake. You will have to work much harder and drain out your energy of lifetime for the same. So be careful with the lies you speak. You do not know which one is going to cost you dearly?
We all are experiencing growing influence of dishonesty in people’s mind, almost in every sphere of life. And above questions have become more relevant in prevailing conditions.
Meanwhile a fear is developed in your mind what if my lie is caught? Quantum of fear depends on the size of lie and your relations with the person, to whom you are lying. Lies with your parents, siblings, spouse, children or other close relatives will have its effect on you. On the other hand lies towards your customers, vendor, employer, employee or management will have varying degree of effect on you depending on your relationship, status and host of other factors. It also varies on quantum of loss caused due to your lies and mistakes.
Strengthen your urge to remain truthful:
Every human being has inbuilt urge to practice honesty and remain truthful. And one needs to strengthen this urge. A strong desire to live in an honest world helps strengthening the urge to stay honest. Being honest doesn’t mean you have to confront the whole world. Start with honesty. Identify your true concerns. Practicing honesty requires self discipline. In the beginning it may seem difficult for you to continue to remain truthful. It is mainly because of your regular habit of speaking lies. You have false assumptions embedded in your mind that lies make life simpler. But such assumptions do not hold good.
Practicing dishonesty in your life leads you to strained relationships with others and your personal self esteem is also at stake. On the contrary if you are known as an honest person, people believe you, honor and respect you. Once you stop lying you will observe lot of changes in your life. People will be much happier with you when you are practicing honesty.
Changing habits needs lots of efforts and takes time. In such cases where people acquire positive habits, it is highly rewarding for them. Stay honest with yourself and be honest with everyone else. Be honest in your dreams. By practicing honesty you are being honest to your true self.
Practicing honesty seems difficult and daunting task in the beginning for those who have a habit of speaking lies but with continuous practice it would be an easy task. You will feel yourself filled with positive and divine energy.
Benefits of practicing honesty:
Honesty is one of the most important and beneficial habits a person can acquire. It is because of this habit you reap several benefits in life. Here is given some important benefits of practicing honesty.
1.Honesty brings good health and happiness: While practicing honesty in life, you are free from worries of being caught of the act of your dishonesty. Thus you will be free from anxiety and stress. A stressful life leads to several diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, fatigue and weak immune system. This may also result in several other related diseases that can make life miserable. Thus to keep away from such diseases and remain happy, one must switch to honest life style.
2.Honesty helps establishing peace of mind:Dishonest people live in fear. They loss their mental peace and internally they are not satisfied with prevailing conditions in their life and their callousness. Practicing honesty removes fear of all kind and it helps maintaining calmness and establishes peace of mind. With stable and peaceful mind, you take better decisions and improve quality of your life.
3.Society loves and respects those they are honest:If you are not an honest person, believe me no one would like to have business, personal and working relationships with you. Even they will not be friendly with you. Liars are unable to lead a good life. People always love true you. They develop close relationships and greater intimacy with honest persons. They trust you, believe you, respect you and honor you. With honesty, you get better quality of people coming in your life, e.g. those they are trustworthy and honest. Quality of your life is improved by practicing honesty.
4.Honesty helps promoting goodwill around you:Surroundings around honest people always pleasant and fully charged with positive energy. They promote positivism around them. People love them and imitate them. They are goodwill ambassadors of this world. Your habit of honesty will help you promoting goodwill around you.
5.With honesty you help making this world a better place:With your habit of practicing honesty a strong interpersonal relationship is built with honest and positive people. Your level of happiness is also increased and you lead a peaceful life free from negativities. Your physical and mental health is also improved. You become an icon for the people who are in contact with you. An aura of positivism surrounds you. People are attracted towards you and you can influence them to practice honesty in life and reap its benefits. Thus you help making this world a better place to live.
Honesty of Mahatma Gandhi helped India getting freedom from two hundred years of British rule. He also conveyed a message that honesty and non violence can improve conditions of this world.
With honesty you move closure to your divine purpose of life:
An honest person’s life is transparent. He has nothing to hide from this world. Honesty helps him awaken his latent powers and intuition. With evolved intuition, he learns several hidden secrets of this universe. Every person is born with a divine purpose of his life. Some people are able to know their purpose while most others remain ignorant throughout their lives due to their involvement in worldly pleasures. You can unleash your divine purpose by practicing honesty in life and fulfill that divine purpose.
Ancient Hindu religious scriptures tell us that everyone must fulfill divine purpose of their life else they will have to come back on this earth by taking rebirth again and again. Once your divine purpose is fulfilled, you will achieve salvation and live in eternal peace and a blissful life.
Honesty helps you discharging your religious responsibilities:Every religion in this world suggests practicing honesty in every aspect of life. For example,
· Buddhism: Truthfulness is one of the fundamental principles of Buddhist ethics. Buddha always advocated practicing honesty in life.
· Christianity: Jesus Christ said, ‘He is the way, the truth and the life.” For Christians, being honest is about following God’s footsteps.
· Hinduism: In Upanishads, the ancient Hindu scriptures, it is said, “Selfish desires are obstacles to the seekers of truth. Seeker of true divinity will attain salvation when he realizes the truth. There are ten yamas i.e. the controls and restraints every ideal Hindu should follow. And the eighth restraint is Honesty and straightforwardness. That is renouncing deception and wrong doing.
· Islam: Islam orders the Muslim to be honest to him and others. God commands that a Muslim be honest, “O you, who believe, for God and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).” Quran 9:719
· Sikhism: One of the core beliefs of Sikhism is “encourage moral and domestic virtues, such as loyalty, gratitude for all favors received, philanthropy, justice, truth and honesty. Sikh philosophy suggests for all Sikhs to earn honest living and avoiding worldly temptations and sins.
· Zoroastrian: According to Zoroastrian teachings a true Zoroastrian must be honest with others. It is expressly mentioned in the Gathas that there is no harm leading an honest life. Even a little obtained through honesty gives one real peace of mind, whereas huge wealth amassed through dishonesty means making one’s life miserable.
Thus every religion in this world advocates for honesty and truthfulness in society. Dishonest persons cannot be considered as religious. They are not faithful to their religion. God does not accept them in their religion. Being truthful means you are faithful towards your religion and are dutifully discharging your religious responsibilities.
When to maintain honesty:
Practice Honesty in financial matters: This is one of the most important and sensitive issue. People at large are skeptical about maintaining honesty in financial matters. If they have to give money to others, they will try to be dishonest with them. Therefore, most people avoid paying taxes and duties to government as per rules. Corrupt practices are prevalent in financial matters all over the world.
However, one must always maintain honesty in matters pertaining to finance and trade. You must learn to pay your dues to others for their goods and services. And at the same time, do not over charge from others for your goods and services. You must also ensure to make others payment in time, within stipulated period.
Be honest in maintaining relationships: Human being is a social animal. His survival depends on social relationship with others. You cannot live without help of others. There must always be an element of honesty in maintaining your relationship with others. Do not cheat others. Do not misuse your relationship with others. Do not hurt others physically, mentally and emotionally. Be honest with everyone in your relationship and transactions with them. Help everyone, you can. Be honest towards your family members, colleagues, people at work and everyone you meet. Discharge your social responsibilities with total honesty.
How to practice honesty:
See yourself lying: In case, you are a frequent liar, your rate of lying could be twelve to eighteen lies per hour. However, it varies from person to person. Now that you are well aware of importance of practicing honesty, no matter what may come, you must be vigilant about your thoughts, your words and your actions. Analyze your lies and give a serious thought to your pattern of lies. Is it to harm or hurt someone? Analyze every act of your lie and be honest in accepting your lies and observing them. Apologize the self for your habit of lying and promise the self for gradually reducing your frequency of speaking lies and other dishonest practices.
Promise yourself practicing honesty in your daily life: For practicing honesty you must promise yourself that you will always maintain truthfulness behavior towards everyone you meet and everything you do. Affirm yourself, everyday immediately after getting up in the morning and say to you, “Today I will strive hard to remain honest in all circumstances.” Repeat this affirmation five to ten times in your mind with full dedication on this statement. And get out of your bed for your daily routine.
In the evening when you are going to bed, ask yourself, “Did I maintain honesty in all circumstances today?” In case, your answer to this question is negative, then you must promise the self not to deviate from the path of honesty tomorrow. Thank God/Supreme forces/Higher power for helping you fulfillment of your promise. And now you can go to bed for peaceful sleep.
Fill your thoughts with honesty: It is your conditioning of mind and your belief system that makes you honest or dishonest. In case, you are practicing dishonesty, at the outset, it emanates as your thoughts. You must learn to purify your thoughts. There is are various ways for the meditation. Observe your thoughts and make efforts to bring honesty in your life style.
Use honesty in every small act: Think honesty in every sphere of your life. Be honest in every small act of your daily life. Speak honest words when you are speaking someone over phone, sending messages and sending mail. Be honest on social media websites such as Face book, Twitter etc. Practice honesty to its fullest extent.
Maintain an honesty v/s dishonesty ledger: Maintain a ledger in which every evening before going to bed you must record all or most actions of the day where you have been dishonest, but you could have been honest. Write every act of dishonesty and also write a pledge that next time in such circumstances I shall be honest. I will not cheat or cause harm to others.
Practicing honesty is a difficult task, yet it is not impossible. You are well aware that honesty helps developing your character, trust, and acceptability. And your credibility is increased with your habits of practicing honesty and truthfulness in life. People give you respect and develop faith in you. Your relationship with others strengthens.
Practicing honesty is not your goal; rather it is a journey for your entire life. Consider it an ongoing process. It will bear sweet fruits of happiness, peace of mind, contentment and respect in society and trustworthiness for you throughout your life.
By now you must have realized importance of being truthful in life and felt that indeed ‘Honesty is really the best policy.’
Be honest and remain happy.
Quotes For Thoughts
“We must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.” ~George Bernard Shaw
“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” ~Mark Twain
”No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.” ~Abraham Lincoln
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” ~William Shakespeare
“To make your children capable of honesty is the beginning of education.” ~John Ruskin
“The trite saying that honesty is the best policy has met with the just criticism that honesty is not policy. The real honest man is honest form conviction of what is right, not from policy.” ~Robert E Lee
“He that loseth his honesty hath nothing else to lose.” ~John Lyly
“An honest man’s word is as good as the king’s.” ~Portuguese Proverb
“Who lies for you will lie against you.” ~Bosnian Proverb
“A half truth is a whole lie.” ~Yiddish Proverb
“With lies you may get ahead in the world – but you can never go back.” ~Russian proverb
“A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future.” ~Author Unknown
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