industrialist John F Dodge said, "There is no twilight zone of honesty. A thing is either right or wrong. It is black or white. Never is it grey!"We shall therefore try to understand the various aspects of this subtle concept presently.
Honesty with respect to human dealings:
Honesty is essential in daily human dealings. Imagine the anxiety in dealing with a person who is a known liar. We cannot depend on his words. He says one thing and meanssomething totally different. Such people are untrustworthy.
Honesty as integrity:
One of the most important things needed for a meaningful life is being realistic. We needto stay in touch with what is real. The present day society is slowly drifting away from reality.People live in all sorts of make-believe worlds now. This is because of the diluting of honesty indaily life. There is a popular saying attributed to an anonymous source which says, '
There is arare human quality that is called honesty when considered with respect to inter-human relations,and the very same quality is called Integrity when considered with respect to a person dealing with oneself.
' What this means is as follows: we generally consider a particular person as beinghonest if he always speaks the truth when talking to & dealing with other people. But what aboutthe way a person deals with himself? Supposing a person makes a resolve to himself that he willwake up from sleep at a particular time and cannot keep it up. How do we classify him? Such a person lacks integrity. His thoughts and deeds are at variance. Although he may always speak thetruth to others, he however breaks the promises he makes with himself! And that is alsodishonesty, of a very serious nature.
Honesty is more than mere words:
While the concept of honesty certainly started out as concerning the spoken word, it later on grew large enough to envelop human thought and human action too. Thus, it was not enoughif a person
the truth. He had to
in certain ways and
in certain specific ways. Onlythen was he considered as being honest. For instance, consider a man who may cheat in a business deal, say, a shopkeeper who short sells things. Notice that we are not considering hisspeech anymore. Since he uses wrong scales and short sells his commodities, we call himdishonest. Consider the famous instance of the common politician. He may speak very correctly.He may depict the facts very truthfully. But, we still consider him a dishonest person mainly because
his actions are not in consonance with his words
Honesty & role of euphemisms in language:
Many ideas are taboos in society. The more the taboos, the more repressed the society becomes and the more distorted the persons living in that society become. As an idea becomestaboo, we start inventing different words and terminologies to sugar-coat our words. We startusing high-sounding words and try to hide the meaning of the words and we feel comfortablewith all this! In the 1
World War, there was a word to describe the extreme nervous condition
that soldiers faced on the battlefield. It was called „
‟. The words themselves clearly
describe the terrible condition of the
During the 1950s, it became „
‟. Then during the Vietnam War, it became „
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
‟. Now, we don‟t even understand what this means anymore! Being honest therefore helps in