On Honesty

Lately, I have thought about "honesty." People, in general, are just not honest. We let things slip and slide to make ourselves look better or to feel better.

Ruth Vest, a woman I used to work for, would often quote:

Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!

(FYI--written by Sir Walter Scott.)

She quoted it so frequently as things would come to light in that office setting, that I can still hear her voice echoing in my ear.

Now, I am not posting this for any particular reason. So there really is no finger pointing. Although I can certainly tell a few scandelous stories right now. But...as I have contemplated and mused over this idea...of being honest in all my dealings with all my fellow men, I realize that I want to be honest. To live my life with integrity. So that others would think me to be honest in all things and could trust me.

Because once you lie and get tangled up in lies and half truths, you become untrustworthy. (Oooh, and don't get my started on half truths...they are worse than out right lies in my opinion.) And trust, is one of the hardest things to earn back.


Stampin_Melissa said...

Good read, Dawn. My personal most important characteristic is integrity. No one can take it from you, only you can give it away. :) Ask me how I know. Well actually, please don't just trust me when I say it is extremely important to live with integrity.

Great Grandma Lin said...

i'm always shocked when someone doesn't tell the truth...I just expect it but it happens. Not everyone has integrity.

Elley said...

I am a person that trusts people to much. The saying you spoke of about a tangled web, I know it as
Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we hasten to deceive". And you are right when you lose that trust in people it is VERY hard to get it back. I believe you treat people like you would want to be treated and that is how I raised my kids. So congratulations for you posting the quote of Sir Walter Scott......Good job. Oh and the spider web.....wow, I hate spiders but that picture is cool.

Anonymous said...

I read this in between my classes this morning. In yoga, this is called practicing Satya; and we attempt to pracitice with honest on and off the matt. I used this as my theme for my Rochester group.

Thanks for reminding me how important it is to simply tell the truth.

Jan Scholl said...

I was brought up in a family of liars-except my grampa, who I spent more time with than anyone. When he died, I made a vow to always tell the truth or say nothing at all. I did the same for my kids. They have struggled with it and even in their 30's are still trying to find the right way. Sadly, my other family members are going the way of my parents and with children under 10, they too have learned that its okay to lie, cheat and steal. It makes me ill. When I have my neice and nephew with me, and certain situations come up, its amazing what I find out. No, not amazing, discourging and sad. I point the right way but its up to them to figure it out, I guess. While I am certainly not perfect, I have kept this one vow to grampa-I wish he were here to lead another generation.

Susan said...

You are so right. I never trust anyone who doesn't tell all the truth...Not ever. I don't trust them to wise up. It's a sickness and it can be overcome....I know that...but I just don't trust them again. I don't act any different toward them publicly but I never am sure that what they way is how it is. Love pix of the web.

wispy willow said...

I'm in a profession where it is not at all uncommon for clients, and colleagues, to be dishonest. (although, fortunately, I have no co-worker's in my office who I can't trust completely. And I know they treat all clients with the highest degree of integrity. But, it's been a hard thing for me to reconcile the need to cover EVERYTHING in a written contract. And even with that...people still lie and ignore the contracts and addendums that they've agreed too.
Sometimes I come home feeling a little like Diogenes...

I have a few client's who like to do business with a handshake. They're some of the old farmers who grew up believing that a man's word was all it took to make a contract binding. I love being around them. They're such upbeat people., and they inspire me to live a better life.

I really liked this post!!

Anonymous said...

In a time where truth has become a gray area to so many (politics immediately come to mind in this election year), your post is so refreshing. A saying at our house has been: "Mean what you say, and say what you mean" You don't have to do it in a hurtful or rude manner, but be truthful. My kids and I just had this conversation. Friends who say one thing, but really mean something else. They were hurt and frustrated. But, we also talked about not doing those kinds of things BECAUSE this is how it makes someone else feel. I guess it's like the other saying: "BE the CHANGE you want to see in the world" (Ghandi?)
Thanks for wonderful reflection.

Barb Nelson said...

After reading the comments on this post, I had to sit back a bit and think. I certainly strive to be honest, but there are times it is really difficult. I find myself telling my children "half-truths" in order to get them to do certain things. Not lies outright, but I don't want to take the time to explain things fully to them. I certainly hope this is just a phase that I am going through to get the needed outcome.

I expect that things will get better/easier when they are older and I am able to explain things to them more fully. And they are able to understand the truth. It can be a hard concept for a 4 and 5 year old.

But I resolve to work on it. Tell them as much as I can without going over their heads or causing them to worry. I think that's the best I can do at this stage.