Honesty is the Best PolicyIf honesty is the best policy, then why is it so difficult for us to truly be honest? Last week I had the opportunity to visit one of the entries in our current HONESTY challenge. Deanne, from Little Bit ‘OPaper had a really great quote on her project:
“Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.” ~FaustMany people are under the impression that simply not lying makes them honest. However, truth encompasses so many other variables and being completely honest with others and even ourselves can be quite a challenge.
As children we learn all the different outcomes from lying or simply avoiding the truth. The act of lying itself may prevent a child from getting into trouble immediately but the consequences of when the truth is finally discovered may increase the punishment tenfold. Then there are those occasions when telling the truth itself will result in punitive measures. If a five year old realizes that telling the truth is going to cost him or her in some way, are they likely to speak up with sincerity? Then, what about those times when it just might be possible that the child’s lies aren’t discovered? The praise and reward received may propel the child down a slippery slope of dishonest behaviour in order to achieve desirable results. As the child grows and tests the waters of where their honesty or dishonesty lands them, the negative patterns of conduct may already be too far ingrained and subconsciously they may come to a point where they don’t even realize how dishonesty is impacting their life. Face it, as humans if we can avoid facing emotional pain, our tendency will be to fall back on dishonesty if we believe that it can preclude us from experiencing the ramifications of distress. Thus, we end up falling into the pattern of deceptive behaviour given our desire to stay in our ‘happy place’ and to effectively avoid conflict or responsibility and get what we want. However, time has taught us that patterns can be broken and in order to live authentically, we need to adopt an honest lifestyle.
The problem is that walking the fine line of honesty can be a very difficult road to travel. As the quote says, it isn’t simply about not telling lies, it is also about coming forward and being truthful when we have done something wrong. It is about having the courage to speak up and tell the truth though we may be afraid to do so. It is about living your life with honesty being an important principle that you follow. Finally, it is about embracing and loving this truthful side to your nature. For some people, this means that they must ready themselves to deal with the potential pain that telling the truth can lead to and also learn that life isn’t always going to be about getting desirable outcomes. It takes true strength to be honest and if individuals have spent years immersed in negative behaviour, their patterns will not be broken overnight. However, with time, practice and perseverance, patterns can be broken. For others, the difficulty of living a truthful life lies in not wanting to hurt those around them. Many of us would prefer to avoid bringing distress to the people we care about. In these circumstances, we need to approach the situation with tact, be sensitive to the feelings of others, and exercise political correctness while still managing to bring honesty into the equation. None of these are easy tasks.
My personal goal is to live a truthful life. Sometimes I am not always so successful. For myself it is more a matter of not wanting to bring pain to others, not wanting to show anger and if I am being truthful with myself, avoiding conflict. Living a truthful life as Faust has laid out in his quote, is not an easy task at all. It can be arduous, distressing, uncomfortable and confusing, yet exalting and liberating all at the same. It requires determination, introspective thought and commitment. Additionally, it requires an individual to be accountable for their own life. That is not an easy thing to do but I believe that the rewards for living a truthful life are worth the efforts—better relationships, trust, less anxiety from having to keep all the different lies straight, knowing that you have taught others through example. These are all ideals worthy of the struggle, are they not?
Honesty may be the best policy but it is one whose implementation does not come without cost. Are you willing to put the time and effort into living the principles of "truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving"? I may not always succeed, but I personally, am certainly going to try.
To help inspire you down the path of honesty, check out the wonderful creations some of my Design Team had the opportunity to create...
Samara used the image that was rather popular among the DT at the start of the challenge, the beautiful rose called Flower 6, from our guest sponsor this month Scribbles Designs. If you are interested in purchasing this ravishing rose, click on the watermark to head to its location in the store.
Vicky has used a sweet image from one of our amazing regular sponsors, Creative Bug Digitals.
Lynda from Positive Force, who is our guest designer this month, created this precious project...Creative Bug Digitals. If you are interested in purchasing this sweet young lady, click on the watermark to head to its location in the store.
Clicking on the team members name (or in the case of our GDT, the blog name) will take you to their blog where you can check out the details for their inspirational creations!
Also, I know that the participants would love for you to go and pay them a visit. Remember we're creating a Path of Positivity to follow one project at a time and we'd love to see you somewhere on that route even if it just by leaving a comment on an entry from someone who has touched you somehow with their project and/or post!
If you are new to this unique challenge, you can find out the impetus behind why I started it under the 'Introductions' tab and all the details you need to know in order to participate, in the 'Challenge Details' tab (both tabs located at the top of the blog).
You still have 3 days to vote on your favourite entry for Challenge #5. Voting is quick, easy and painless so I hope you will consider casting your vote if you haven't already. Don't forget, if you leave a comment after voting, you have the opportunity to walk away with a digital paper created especially for you. To check out the Top Seven and cast your vote, click HERE. You have until Thursday, September 19th at 11:55 pm to have your say in who walks away with the Voter's Choice prize. If everything goes according to plan, the winners for Challenge #5 will be announced next Monday.
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE ON OPTIMISM?
If you need some motivation to get you started, I've provided the Faust quote that I referenced above, free for you to download:
You will notice that the sentiment may appear huge depending on what software program you download it into. You can always reduce the size without distorting the overall look.
Whether you are new and need to familiarize yourself with all the details, or a returning participant and just need to refresh yourself, you can always find out everything you need to know in order to enter this challenge in the 'Challenge Details' tab at the top of the page. You can enter the challenge by clicking HERE to take you to the current challenge post where you can also find a quick summary of the details related to this challenge, towards the bottom of the post.
GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY...
Please show your support to our fabulous sponsors by going over and checking out their work and saying hi if you have the chance. In addition to Fresh Brewed Designs, our guest sponsor for the month...
...we also have our regular sponsors:
That is me and I'd love for you to visit me
on my personal blog.
If you ever have any questions be sure to EMAIL ME or just leave me a comment.
We look forward to seeing you participate!
C., Jared; P., Martyn, et al.. (Date Unknown.). How to Be Honest. Available: http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Honest. Last accessed 16th Sept. 2013.
Letchford, Belinda. (Date Unknown.). Character Notes - Truthfulness. Available: http://www.lifestyle-homeschool.com/Character-Notes-Truthfulness.html. Last accessed 16th Sept. 2013.
Mercer, Mark. (Date Unknown.). Don't Lie: Discussion and Criticism. Available: www.smu.ca/faculty/markmercer/documents/13_Don't_Lie.doc. Last accessed 16th Sept. 2013.
Tangient LLC. (2013). Honesty. Available: http://discoveringtherealme.wikispaces.com/9+-+Honesty. Last accessed 16th Sept. 2013.
Wells, Jonathan . (Date Unknown.). Do You Have the Courage to Be Honest?. Available: http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/courage-to-be-honest/. Last accessed 16th Sept. 2013.