Friday, 20 July 2018

Honesty ... Really (?) the best policy


They say honesty is the best policy. Who are "they" who say this? Do they really mean it? Have they always been honest? And never suffered the consequences of their honesty, (some would say stupidity)?

Now, before you all start admonishing me about this seemingly bad advice I am giving; let us all consider what we mean by honesty.

Some legal minds would define it as "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".

Jesus used to say to His followers, "I am the way and the truth and the life" yet, even in those days, Pontius Pilate challenged, "What is truth?" (John 18:38).

So let's consider honesty under the spot light for a moment or two; and let's see how we define it and whether we agree it is the best policy.

Many years ago, when I was young and living in London, I wanted to be strong, healthy and handsome, (to attract the ladies). I remember walking past a sports shop selling all kinds of equipments to make one strong and covered in muscles. I walked in, and I must admit that at the time I was all too willing to sign a cheque for a lot of equipment.

First I tried the self-standing bicycles with various gears and speedometers and what have you. Then I moved on to the different types of treadmills. Electric ones, non-motorised ones, some with the facility for an incline and so on. The I looked at the trampolines. I honestly was prepared to buy at least one or two of these contraptions.

A salesman approached me and I asked him a few questions about the treadmill and the bicycle. He advised me not to buy any. He said that I'll probably use them once or twice and then they'll stand there at home gathering dust. I left the shop totally deflated.

Was that salesman honest? Or was he the worst salesman in the world?

Years later, I did buy both a treadmill and a stand-alone bicycle; and I tell you friends, they make very good coat hangers.

So ... what is honesty do you think?

Should we always tell the truth? Even if it hurts? Or should we white lie perhaps to protect and help the vulnerable?

In my book "Visions", (forgive the advert), I relate the story of a woman who tells Father Ignatius that her daughter, a teenager, is not really the daughter of her husband. She is the result of an affair the woman had many years ago, whilst married, which she never confessed to her husband. She is now in a happy relationship with her husband who is a good father, and provider. She asks the priest whether, now ridden with guilt, she should confess the truth to her husband.

What should the priest advise? What would you advise?

What is honesty? Is it the best policy?

READ "VISIONS" HERE
 

24 comments:


  1. The situation/question at the end is heartbreaking, horrifying... the only answer is the grace of God.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You pose a difficult question, I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 'What they said.'

    One, or two, or so, more thing(s) - - -

    I think "honesty" is a good idea, always. Eventually. And more than blurting out everything known in every circumstance. Particularly for folks like me, whose track record for living as if truth matters isn't perfect. At all.

    Catechism, 2489, briefly discusses why thinking about what's communicated and the circumstances involved is a very good idea. That's part of a section about living in truth, starting at 2465 http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a8.htm#2465 .

    Life might be much simpler, if humanity had gotten off to a better start; and that's another topic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have struggled with "honesty", Brian. The example I give in my book is one instance. Another is; would you tell an elderly person who is ill and perhaps close to death, some bad news. Like for example the divorce of a loved one? Would that news really enhance the old person's life for the sake of honesty?

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. This is a personal decision that cannot easily be answered by anyone but the woman herself. She can ask for counsel but NOT for answers!
    Humans make mistakes and instead of asking someone, whether it is a man of the cloth or a stranger on the street, to make her decision, maybe she should ask for God's forgiveness because he will have the last word in the end.
    I do not believe in "honesty is the best policy!!!" One size does not fit all~

    Have a lovely day Victor~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very wise words, Jan. Thank you.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  5. I am always truthful! I can always remember the truth...and would forget the lies, so no use mwking up stories/facts when in time the lies would come back to haunt me. As for the lady/daughter, all I could answer would be MY view which is the truth should have been told upon pregnancy OR as the affair took place. Too many lies, guilt, cheating and unfairness stands ...to husband, lover, daughter & herself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed you're right, Anni. Maybe the woman should have said something at the time. But she didn't. Now, over 13 years later, with a happy family of husband and children, should she tell the truth NOW?

      God bless.

      Delete
  6. That's a tough decision only she can make. Whatever the priest tells her, she still has to decide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Bill. A tough decision indeed. Often in my Christian serious books I ask difficult questions for my readers to consider, decide and perhaps pray over.

      God bless you, Bill.

      Delete
  7. I loved Fr. Ignatius's advice to this character, Victor, but won't reveal here as I think EVERYONE should read this book and discovery the answer for themselves. Don't apologize for the advert; you have every right to encourage us to buy and read your wonderful books!
    Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity, Martha. I am very grateful for your support. Thank you also for not revealing what advice the priest gave this woman. I agonised at the time of writing this book; and checked with others whether my advice was correct, truthful, and honest.

      God bless you and your family always, Martha.

      Delete
  8. That is a hard one. First thought is to let it alone, what is done is done, but the truth usually comes out in the long run. The truth would be better coming from her than if it was found out in some other way.
    I really don't know what advise I would give. Better not to get in that situation in the first place, and tell the truth when it happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your last sentence is indeed right, Happyone. But as I mentioned to Bill, in my book I deliberately put the situation in the present/current time. Something happens in the plot of the book that makes this women suddenly feel remorse. What does she do NOW? Tell her husband, or not?

      God bless.

      Delete
  9. The truth, always. Honesty is the best policy and she should have been honest from the start. BUT, I did order the book for my Kindle and will be reading soon to see what advice the Priest gives to the woman. That said, I did pass along my paperback copy of Theodore Luxton-Joyce to Myra when she was here. I am sure she will enjoy it as much as I did!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Terri,

      How very kind of you to pass on a copy of Theodore Luxton-Joyce book to Mevely. It is through people like you passing on books that I get most of my readers. This and also people mentioning my books on their Blogs, or writing readers reviews on Amazon. Thank you Terri.

      I agree that the woman in my book Visions should have been honest from the start. Now, 13 years later, she is suddenly struck with remorse. What should she do? What will the priest advise?

      God bless you, Terri.

      Delete
  10. I can't see that she will ever be happy until she does tell her husband; it will be devastating, but the grace of God will carry the matter through.

    But I wonder if the salesman was being honest to his employer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David,

      It's so nice to see you visiting me here. Thank you. Please visit us again soon.

      You make two good points. I will not comment on the first in case I give away the plot of the book. You are certainly right on the matter of the salesman. He was not honest to his employer, but honest to me.

      God bless you.

      Delete
  11. I would advise the lady not to say anything. Not saying anything is not lying. Now if the husband asked, the woman would be in a dilemma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to see you here again, Manny.

      Your comment reminds me of Jack Nicholson when he said to Tom Cruise, "You can't handle the truth!"

      God bless.

      Delete
  12. Consequences--anyway you go--there are consequences, because it all started with sin. Mankind can be a sad lot!
    Blessings, My Friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, Lulu.

      I hope you are keeping well. God bless you.

      Delete

I PRAY FOR ALL WHO COMMENT HERE.

God bless you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...