Honesty is one of those things that we all know is so important and we preach about it to our children more than just about anything else. But, I think it’s a tough one to really be able to claim that you are fully committed to on a daily basis.
How many times have you gone to the dentist, flossed your teeth that morning because you know “the question” is coming up, and then go ahead and give the dental hygienist (you have no idea how long it took me to find the correct spelling of that word) a firm, “YES, I FLOSS TWICE A DAY…EVERY DAY!” when asked if you floss or not?
How many times do you walk into your othropedist’s office and tell them that you have completely rested your injured body part when, in reality, all you’ve done is cut back your running from 7 to 5 miles a day?
How often has your husband come home and asked if the top you’re wearing is new, and you claim that you’ve had it for “forever” when you actually bought it last week. But, since it’s a new week, it’s fair to call it “old”.
Sure, they’re white lies, but I sometimes think that a string of little white lies is more dangerous than one big one.
Honesty shouldn’t be a sometimes thing. It should be an all-the-time thing.
People aren’t stupid. Well, ok, sometimes people do a lot of pretty stupid things…very much including me. But, people can detect “white liars” as quickly as fruit flies can find an apple on a hot summer day. And, there are far things worse to be categorized than a liar, or just simply someone that people cannot trust.
If people can’t trust you, you can’t have meaningful relationships with anyone from neighbors or people you just run into at the gym occasionally, to close friends and family. Yes, you can get by with relationships that stay trapped in superficial small talk, but you’re never going to be able to really connect with someone that you can actually share a future with.
And, it starts with being honest with your significant other when they ask you if you like their outfit. It starts with being honest with your kids about whether you’ve ever done drugs before. And, it starts with all of those times you want to answer someone’s question with a firm yes or no, and not a, “I’m actually not sure what the answer is to that.”
Being honest with someone about not knowing the answer to a question of theirs earns you far more credibility down the road than the pride of “knowing it all”…and then, ultimately, being wrong about it.
All-the-time honesty is hard to put into practice, but it’s what the foundation of “living a life of greatness” must be build upon.
And, I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of living a great life.