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  • stefanhowarth

Is honesty really the best policy?...

'Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Furthermore, honesty means being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.'

Nearly all of the population would describe themselves as honest, I am one of them, but is honesty ALWAYS the best policy? I recently met a 'friend of a friend' whom at first, seemed fun, pretty and rather nice. However, then came the phrase I have become accustomed to hearing, "I'm really honest, I tell it like it is, not in a mean way or anything I'm just really honest..." This is a phrase I have heard far to often, and each time the phrase, once spoken, has lead to rude, insulting and somewhat damming comments and opinions of other people. This case was no different, a mere 10 minutes later she was insisting the women at the bar was obese and that she hated my jacket and referred to it making me look "soooo gay". The once nice women was rude, abrupt and pretty bitchy. As I have heard that phrase spoken many times and the outcome had always been the same it had me thinking. Are people using the notion of honesty just to be a total bitch? Or are some people too honest? Is honesty really the best policy?



Yes, my jacket is baroque in styling and to many it's OTT, but to me it's opulent beauty is something I love. The women at the bar was rather large, but she was pretty, evidently happy, confident and was rocking Isabel Marant style boots. How dare this awful women, well, bitch, criticise a mere stranger? Why do people use 'honesty' as a chance to lay into people? Is it to make themselves feel better? Well yes actually, I think that's the whole reason people are mean. They judge in such a way it leaves them feeling more in control of their own lives and it's a coping mechanism to eradicate their own feelings and insecurities. Being honest is one thing, being SOOOO honest that it's rude? That's a step too far. Though, are we all really truly honest? Think about those times your friend asks if they look fat and you tactfully have to tell them not to wear that dress. Most people tell little white lies so that they don't upset and hurt people's feelings, is that being honest? or does that class as deception? If I'm willing to tell tiny white lies to make friends happy, does that mean that actually I'm not an honest person? I don't think so. I am honest, but would I say something mean that would upset them? No.

'Honesty is valued in many ethnic and religious cultures. "Honesty is the best policy" is a proverb of Benjamin Franklin; however, the quote "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom" is attributed to Thomas Jefferson, as used in a letter to Nathaniel Macon.'

After thinking about 'the b*tch' and my own honesty, the conclusion is that honesty IS the best policy, but when your work colleague asks if you like her bag, just remember that honesty sometimes needs to be sugar coated. Honesty is the best policy...