Why Honesty Still Matters

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Why Honesty Still Matters

by Olessia Kantor
Dishonesty Confrontation Honesty

Do you remember when lying was an undesirable trait we had to teach our children not to engage in? I do. I remember being a child and being reprimanded for my imaginative, although exaggerated tales of what my days consisted of. As a parent, there have been times I could sense that my children were lying and encouraged them to be honest. I’m sure I’ll have more of these conversations to come, as I’ll eventually have not one, but three teenage girls running amok under one roof. Honesty is a value that most people I know have had instilled in them the better portion of their lives. Being honest is the dignified way to act. Being honest is the respectful way to conduct oneself. With all that being said, let’s take a look at honesty in today’s events.

The news cycle related to the U.S. presidential election has had one overarching theme: lies. It seems that two parties are fighting over who is more dishonest, with many other people’s dishonesty getting exposed in the crossfire. With people raised with more traditional values then the generations after them, it begs the question: what happened to honesty? If these people can reach this level of success without being held to the same standards many of us grew up with, does honesty really matter?

The answer is, unequivocally, yes. Sure, we all tell white lies, but have you ever told a real, involved lie? It takes on a life of its own before you can stop it. You think it’s something you say offhandedly, but it comes up more than once, and next thing you know, you’re elaborating on this story, giving it steam. There’s so much to keep straight, so much to remember. I’ve watched people tell lies in passing that have gone on to destroy their lives, all to avoid an uncomfortable moment or a confrontation.

The decision is in your hands, but these are just a few of the reasons why being honest is in your best interest.

  • You’ll be perceived as a genuine person. When you’re just being yourself and being honest, you operate with an ease that cannot be faked. When you’re genuine, people gravitate toward you, entrusting in you and building close relationships.
  • Society assumes you can be trusted on a basic level. The way that freedom works in many instances is that a society can be trusted on a basic level. If you’re asked for information, they assume the information you give is honest. Those who are blatantly dishonest not only break laws, but put in danger the freedoms we are granted.
  • Lying makes your conscience less effective overall. When you lie, and especially when you convince yourself of a lie, you’re subconsciously avoiding acknowledgement that you’re acting against your principles. As a result, your conscience cannot stop you. The more frequent the behavior, the lesser your conscience even factors in.
  • Integrity is the building block of all the major establishments in your life. To be honest is to act with integrity. By being dishonest, you’re robbing yourself of the tool that best arms you to build friendships, relationships, business partnerships, etc.
  • Dishonesty will shrink your possibilities. A person who is frequently dishonest is also a person who is typically very paranoid. Paranoia closes you into your own world. If you know you’re “getting away” with your lies without detection, you’ll start to look at other people and wonder what they are lying about. This will lead you down a path of distrust and further harm your ability to create connections with others.

Knowing that you’re honest feels good. In a world where there’s so much anger and hate and confusion, sometimes it’s just easiest to do the right thing, come what may. You can operate at ease knowing that you are a person with integrity that can be trusted and can serve as a shining role model for others.