Saturday, December 7, 2019

Integrity and honesty: the greatest virtues of mankind

A woman was walking home from office one late evening when she suddenly thought of buying a chicken for dinner. She walked to a meat-shop and asked the man at the counter if there was any chicken left for the day. The man went to the refrigerator and pulled out the only chicken he had. The woman watched as he placed it on the weighing scale. It weighed 1.5 KG. “Do you have another one slightly bigger than this?” the woman enquired. The man took the chicken, put it back into the refrigerator, groped around as though looking for another one and took out the same chicken. While weighing it, he gently pressed it with his thumb and this time, it weighed 2 KG. “Perfect!” said the woman. “I want to take both. Can you pack them up for me?”.

Being honest is not just about telling truth. It is also about living it. If we are live with integrity and honesty, we don’t have to face any embarrassment or live with guilt. Paul Ekman in his book ‘Telling Lies’ has pointed out that we can never hide our lies forever. Even if we don’t get caught for lying, we will have to live with the guilt throughout our life.

We always talk about integrity and honesty as the foundation of humanity, but it is difficult to say how many of us are really true to ourselves. Across cultures, we hate dishonesty and value integrity, but if we look at the way we live our life everyday, I don’t think we are always honest with ourselves. We often tell lies for various reasons despite the knowledge that we have to be truthful and honest with everybody around us. It is said that we tell an average of 13 lies in a week. There are people who often call in sick to take a day off from office or school, and there are others who tell so-called ‘white lies’ to save themselves or others from getting into troubles.

But no matter how skillfully we craft our lies, the truth will ultimately prevail and we will have to face the reality at the end of the day. The best way to stay out of unnecessary troubles is to be always honest and truthful in life. As we sleep at night, we can ask ourselves how honest we could be throughout the day. This would help us define the way we interact with people around us and deal with life more sensibly and respectfully. It is honesty that brings you respect, honor and dignity. If you are honest in everything you do, you will be respected by all. But if you are dishonest, you won’t be able to rise up in the society. Therefore, let us be reminded that honesty is always the best policy.

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