Is honesty overrated?
Sasho, very interesting findings. I think that may be a big problem with many, many people today. They are scared of the truth and don’t have the ‘balls’ (excuse my french) to face it, like they know they should. They keep running from it until it becomes a habit of their ego. Then it just becomes the norm.
The most important in any realtionship, work or social, is trust. Trust is simply a manifestation of an individual’s honesty and how often they show it. I would much rather someone tell me they fudged something up than find out for myself.
A world with just honest people would be WAY better. People in corporations lie about their products, researchers lie about their results, mass-media lies about events. No wonder society is so messed-up. If we act on false information given by other people, of course we will mess things up even more.
And if you want a better and more honest society, you must break the chain of lies. How can we complain that x or y lies to us, when we are in fact doing the same thing on a smaller scale?
Granted, telling the truth can sometimes be really hard and it can take a lot of courage. I’m a work in progress but I do see that telling the truth is liberating and it is better in the long run.
And when we talk about honesty, we shouldn’t imply that it means saying things brutally to someone else. You have the option of being tactful and choosing the right moment.
@ daveb “as skafish illustrates above, lying and cheating are actions people use to cover weaknesses, compensate for making bad choices, and avoid changing.”
Not sure what you mean by this:
-Bad choices can be subjective, depends on the person’s views and the situation they are in.
-Covering weaknesses: explain?
-Avoid changing: Depends. What changes am I avoiding? Why should I change my views to something I don’t agree with simply because it is forced on me, especially when the only person being affected by my choices is myself?
If people want an honest society, then we have to all agree to get rid of power and some people’s ability to impose their will on other people. If you think about it, imposing your will on others is the underlying concept of all crimes and the reason why they are considered crimes (except for those things which shouldn’t be considered crimes, which is why I feel the way I do on drug use. Me choosing to smoke a joint isn’t imposing my will on anyone so why is it a crime?). Even on the tiniest possible scale of things that have next to no importance, this must be so.
@TheSkaFish I think I understand what he meant there. Check this out, and see whether it resonates with you: http://myquestforgrowth.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-we-lie-and-radical-honesty-month.html
@Vasco B just gave it a read, and I do agree it is challenging for people to be radically honest but also could be very revealing about yourself and about where you are in relation to where you want to be. But I still feel there are some cases where a lie would be inconsequential or has zero gain, but telling the truth would result in a major loss that is not necessary to have. For instance, being questioned by authorities over something that they feel is wrong but I don’t. If I am honest, or even if I tell them “I don’t want to discuss this with you” then they will bring the full force of their power against me and I just don’t have the resources to fend them off.
What I mean is things like: Why do you value good grades if you don’t care about what’s being taught? it’s good for your brain to learn things, even in boring high school classes.
If you’re in college, change your major and pick electives and classes you do care about. I admit I’m biased – as a music major, I enjoyed pretty much all the classes I had to take, and understood the importance of the ones I didn’t like (sightsinging was the bane of my existence, but it did improve my ear).
Econ 101: If all of your colleagues are stealing from work, the company’s profit will be less and thus raises will be *harder* to come by. If you think you’re undervalued, prove it by working harder and asking for a raise, or quit and get a higher-paying job. If nobody is willing to pay you what you think you’re worth, go into business for yourself.
Lastly, it’s really easy to be discreet about smoking. You have to be stupid to get caught. I agree that it’s totally silly that it’s a crime, but it’s easy to avoid getting caught here in the USA. And even easier in the European countries I’ve visited.
All the reasons you gave for lying sounded more like excuses to me.
Honesty- definitely underrated.
I think that lying, especially with great frequence, has the power to destroy you and those around you. Even if you fool people, things have a way of either wrecking your life, or changing you into a person you never wanted to become.
Honesty is teh rape. If you aren’t honest with people it means that you live dual lives and you can’t possibly be at harmony with yourself – a union of thought, word and action.
@daveb I hear ya about learning things, I just went on a huge neuroplasticity tangent yesterday reading a bunch of articles that say learning new things either increases the amount of neurons you have, or connects them better, or something along those lines. I agree that it is good for your brain to learn things, but in college nowadays (I just finished last year) students are required to take an increasing number of courses that are simply requirements, and don’t necessarily pertain to what you’re there for at all. As I said, no one should take offense to cheating though, since it is only yourself that you are cheating in the end.
As far as workers, I think we’re all undervalued, to the tune that our wages are stuck in 1960 while the cost of living, as well as boss’ wages, are in 2012. I simply can’t stand getting screwed over and I can’t stand bullies. Of course there are things I can do to escape them, but I haven’t figured out just how yet.
I believe in honesty for the most part but I also believe in doing whatever is necessary for self-preservation and resisting domination by powerful people.
Sucks that your major had worthless classes in it, but I’m sure you’re not alone in that experience. I studied something I really enjoyed – something like 90% of my credit hours were in music. Since I only got 1-2 electives each year those were also classes I found really interesting. So we’ve got different perspectives based on our experiences.
I agree that many workers are undervalued, but I disagree that everybody stealing from their employer is any way to resolve that problem. I think that makes the problem worse.
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