Honesty Is The Best Policy

by Sylvia Ford-George

They say honesty is the best policy. So why are we so okay and adoring of all things corrupt? Babies lie. You give them a bowl of food; leave the room for a “second” only to return to find the food and bowl all over the floor. You look baby square in the eye and ask, “did you do that” and baby says “n-o”. Babies “n-o” their way through the terrible two’s straight through early childhood because they don’t know any better. They haven’t fully grasped the concept of right from wrong. Babies get patted on the bottom; children get put in the corner; and teens placed on punishment—all in an effort to help teach them right from wrong. To encourage honesty and integrity. To impart the fact that no bad deed goes unpunished.

And then they grow up and become adults, and parents find out just how much influence they had on their kids. As a child, a little fibbing might seem okay, but when you’re older one lie leads to more lies. And the more lies you tell the more finagling you have to do to keep your lies straight. And the more finagling you do the bolder you get. And the bolder you get, the bigger the lies become. Lies lead to cheating, which leads to being corrupt, unethical, and dishonorable. And all that could lead to exposure, embarrassment, death, jail or worse.

Parents lie about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. President Clinton lied, as did Bernie Madoff, Richard Nixon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods, the translator from Nelson Mandela’s funeral and a whole lot of other folks there’s not room enough to name or list here. Yes, if you lie you’ll be in good company—but there’s nothing better than living a truthful and honest existence.

It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. ~Noel Coward

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. ~Groucho Marx

No legacy is as rich as honesty. ~William Shakespeare